October 13, 2017 / 3:15 PM / 4 months 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.

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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