The number of unemployed people in the EU remains relatively constant. After adjustment for season the rate of unemployment amounted to 7.1% in the Eurozone (EZ15) in February which is the same rate like in January. In February 2007 unemployment had still been at 7.6%. In the EU27 the rate of unemployment amounted to 6.7% in February this year (January: 6.8%) following 7.4% in February 2007. These figures were recently published by Eurostat, the EUs statistical office.
Eurostat estimates that as of the end of February this year there were 15,970 million unemployed people in the EU27, almost 11 million of which in the EZ15. In comparison with January 2008 the number of jobless people fell by 130.000 and 59.000 respectively. As compared to February 2007 it fell by 1.5 million in the EU27 and by 0.7 million in the EZ15.
Among all member states the Netherlands have the lowest rate of unemployment (2.7%) while Slovakia has the highest (9.9%). Twenty two of the member states registered a falling rate of unemployment in the last year, four an increase and in one member state the rate of unemployment remained unchanged. The sharpest drops in the number of jobless people were registered in Poland (from 10.8% to 8.0%), in Bulgaria (from 7.7% to 6.0%) and in Slovakia (from 11.5% to 9.9%). The biggest increase was registered in Spain (from 8.1% to 9.0%).
Comparing the rates of February 2007 with that of February 2008, unemployment amoung men fell from 6.7% to 6.3% in the Eurozone and from 6.8% to 6.2% in the EU27. The rate of unemployment among women fell from 8.7% to 8.0% and from 8.1% to 7.3% respectively.
Among people below the age of 25 unemployment amounted to 14.4% in the Eurozone and to 14.6% in the EU27 following 15.0% and 15.8% in February 2007. It was lowest in the Netherlands (5.1%) and Austria (7.7%) and highest in Greece and Italy (21.8% in both countries in the fourth quarter 2007).
In the USA and Japan the rates were 4.8% and 3.9% respectively.
- EZ15: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Cyprus and Malta.
- EU27: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Great Britain.