European unemployment figures

October 2011: More than 23 million people were unemployed; of which 5 million in Spain.

Unemployment rate: Euro area: 10.2%; European Union: 9.7%; Spain: 22.6%; Greece: 17.6%

Youth unemployment rate: Euro area: 21.2%; European Unión: 21.4%; Spain: 48%; Greece: 43.5%

According to Eurostat[i], the euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.2% in September 2011, compared with 10.1% in August4. It was 10.1% in September 2010. The EU271 unemployment rate was 9.7% in September 2011, compared with 9.6% in August4. It was 9.6% in September 2010.

Eurostat estimates that 23.264 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 16.198 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in September 2011. Compared with August 2011, the number of persons unemployed increased by 174 000 in the EU27 and by 188 000 in the euro area. Compared with September 2010, unemployment rose by 215 000 in the EU27 and by 329 000 in the euro area.

These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (3.9%), the Netherlands (4.5%) and Luxembourg (4.8%), and the highest in Spain (22.6%), Greece (17.6% in July) and Latvia (16.1% in the second quarter of 2011).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in fourteen Member States and increased in thirteen. The largest falls were observed in Estonia (17.9% to 12.8% between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011), Latvia (19.4% to 16.1% between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011) and Lithuania (18.2% to 15.5% between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011). The highest increases were registered in Greece (12.6% to 17.6% between July 2010 and July 2011), Spain (20.5% to 22.6%) and Cyprus (6.0% to 7.8%).

Between September 2010 and September 2011, the unemployment rate for males remained stable at 9.9% in the euro area and fell from 9.6% to 9.5% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 10.4% to 10.6% in the euro area and from 9.7% to 9.9% in the EU27.

In September 2011, 5.308 million young persons (under-25s) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.290 million were in the euro area. Compared with September 2010, youth unemployment increased by 41 000 in the EU27 and by 71 000 in the euro area.

In September 2011, the youth unemployment rate was 21.4% in the EU27 and 21.2% in the euro area. In September 2010 it was 20.9% and 20.8% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in Austria (7.1%) and the Netherlands (8.0%), and the highest in Spain (48.0%) and Greece (43.5% in July).

In September 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.1% in the USA. In August 2011, it was 4.3% in Japan.

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[i] http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-31102011-BP/EN/3-31102011-BP-EN.PDF, 160/2011 -31 October 2011

Greece: figures of July 2011.

The euro area (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, theNetherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).