October 13, 2017 / 3:19 PM / a year ago

ECB's Constancio frets over euro zone's labor market slack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Broad measures of euro zone unemployment remain high, even if the bloc has created more than 7 million jobs since the beginning of its economic recovery, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (R) and Vice President Vitor Constancio are seen after a news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

The unemployment rate in the 19 countries sharing the single currency, when including measures such as part-time workers who are seeking more hours and people discouraged from working for various reasons, remains around 17 percent to 18 percent.

That is holding back wage growth and keeping a lid on inflation, Constancio said in a presentation on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank fall meetings in Washington.

He added that while the euro zone’s economic recovery is broad-based and consolidated, raising inflation back toward the ECB’s target of nearly 2 percent is “quite difficult” given the labor market slack.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Paul Simao

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