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Morning Market Roundup: EU Unemployment at a Record High, China vs. Apple, Airbus Jobs


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

EU Unemployment: Unemployment in the 17-country euro currency bloc hit another record in May as the crippling financial crisis pushed the continent toward the brink of recession, official figures showed Monday.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 percent in May from 11 percent the previous month. May's rate was the highest since the euro was launched in 1999 and adds further urgency to the eurozone countries' plan to create economic growth and cut excessive government debt.

May's unemployment rate compares badly with an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in the United States and 4.4 percent in Japan, and is expected to rise further in the coming months as the eurozone economy is forecast to slide back into recession this year.

In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, up 88,000 on the month before and 1.8 million more than the level a year earlier.

China & Apple: Apple has paid $60 million to settle a dispute in China over ownership of the iPad name, a court announced Monday, removing a potential obstacle to sales of the popular tablet computer in the key Chinese market.

Apple's dispute with Shenzhen Proview Technology highlighted the possible pitfalls for global companies in China's infant trademark system. It also posed a challenge for the communist government, which wants to attract technology investors to develop China's economy.

Apple has agreed to pay China's Shenzhen Proview Technology $60 million to settle a dispute over ownership of the iPad name (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

Apple Inc. says it bought the global rights to the iPad name from Proview in 2009 but Chinese authorities say the rights in China were never transferred. A Chinese court ruled in December that Proview still owned the name in China. Proview, which is struggling financially, asked Chinese authorities to seize iPads in an apparent effort to pressure Apple to settle.

Airbus: Airbus's planned aircraft assembly plant in Alabama will cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, officials said ahead of a formal announcement Monday.

The European company's first aircraft assembly plant in America will produce A320 single-aisle passenger planes that will compete with Boeing.

New Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier arrived in Mobile late Sunday and will unveil details Monday, according to two officials with knowledge of the France-based company's plans.

Two state officials said the plant in Alabama's port city of Mobile should create about 2,500 construction jobs, and it will turn out about four planes a month in 2017. All four officials spoke to The Associated Press condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the plant ahead of Monday's announcement.

The plant will be located at Brookley Aeroplex, which was an Air Force base until its closure in 1969.

German Court vs. EU Rescue Deal: Germany's highest court said Monday it will hold a hearing next week on calls to block the eurozone's permanent rescue fund and Europe's new treaty enshrining fiscal discipline.

Germany's Parliament voted by a big majority last Friday to approve both the €500 billion ($633 billion) rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, and the budget pact -- the so-called fiscal compact, a cherished project of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Opponents swiftly applied to the Federal Constitutional Court for injunctions blocking the plans while judges consider whether they're in line with German law.

Germany's President Joachim Gauck has agreed not to sign the legislation before the constitutional court rules on the calls. The ESM can't take effect without Germany's approval.

The fund was initially meant to be operational as of July, and European policy makers still hope that it can replace its temporary predecessor, the European Financial Stability Facility, by the end of the month. According to plans agreed at an EU summit last week, for instance, the ESM is meant to handle the (EURO)100 billion Spain has been offered to recapitalize its ailing banks.

The hearing will be held next Tuesday in the western German city of Karlsruhe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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