Euro area unemployment at 7.4% (Greece and Spain, the highest unemployment rates)
The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4% in December 2019, down from 7.5% in November 2019 and from 7.8% in December 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2008.
The EU28 unemployment rate was 6.2% in December 2019, down from 6.3% in November 2019 and from 6.6% in December 2018.
This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. These figures have been published today (30 January) by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 15.475 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 12.251 million in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2019. Compared with November 2019, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 80 000 in the EU28 and by 34 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2018, unemployment fell by 747 000 in the EU28 and by 592 000 in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2019 were recorded in Czechia (2.0%) as well as in Germany and the Netherlands (both 3.2%).
The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (16.6% in October 2019) and Spain (13.7%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 21 Member States, remained stable in Denmark, while it increased in Cyprus (from 7.4% to 7.6%), Slovenia (from 4.4% to 4.6%), Lithuania (from 5.8% to 6.1%), Portugal (from 6.6% to 6.9%), Luxembourg (from 5.2% to 5.6%) and Sweden (from 6.5% to 6.9%).
The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 18.5% to 16.6% between October 2018 and October 2019), Bulgaria (from 4.7% to 3.7%) and Croatia (from 7.3% to 6.4%).
In December 2019, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.5%, stable compared with November 2019 and down from 3.9% in December 2018.
In December 2019, 3.155 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.213 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2018, youth unemployment decreased by 143 000 in the EU28 and by 129 000 in the euro area.
In December 2019, the youth unemployment rate was 14.1% in the EU28 and 15.3% in the euro area, compared with 14.6% and 16.2% respectively in December 2018. In December 2019, the lowest rates were observed in Czechia (4.3%), Germany (5.8%) and the Netherlands (6.7%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (35.6% in October 2019), Spain (30.0%) and Italy (28.9%).