Unemployment in Eurozone at 7.2%

In contrast to Germany, unemployment did not decrease in Europe in May 2008. In the Eurozone (EZ15) it remained unchanged as compared to April at 7.2% after adjustments for season. Compared to May 2007, however, it slightly fell by 0.3%. In the EU27 unemployment amounted to 6.8% (following 6.7% in April) while in May last year there had been 7.2% of unemployed people in the EU27. These figures were published by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).

Eurostat estimates that there were in total 16.17 million unemployed men and women in the EU27, 11.2 million of which in the Eurozone, in May 2008. As compared to April 2008 unemployment increased by 42.000 and 67.000 people respectively. In comparison with May 2007 the number of jobless people fell by 0.9 million in the EU27 and by 0.2 million in the Eurozone.

The member states with the smallest number of jobless people were Denmark (2.7%) and the Netherlands (2.9%). The highest rates of unemployment were registered in Slovakia (10.5%) and Spain (9.9%).

Seen over an one-year period there was a decrease of unemployment in 21 EU member states and an increase in six member states. The most significant reductions were registered in Poland (from 9.8% to 7.5%) and Bulgaria (from 7.1% to 5.7%). The biggest increases in Spain (from 8.1% to 9.9%) and Ireland (from 4.8% to 6.0%).

Comparing the figures for May 2007 and May 2008, the unemployment rate of men in the Eurozone remained unchanged at 6.6% and fell from 6.6% to 6.3% in the EU27. Unemployment among women fell from 8.5% to 8.0% in the Eurozone and from 7.9% to 7.3% in the EU27. Unemployment among people below the age of 25 amounted to 15.0% and 14.9% in the Eurozone and EU27 respectively in May 2008.


  • Eurozone (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, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Great Britain