Euro area unemployment stable at 7.1%

According to the latest figures published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the euro area's (EA15: consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.1% in March 2008, unchanged compared with February. It was 7.5% in March 2007. The EU271 unemployment rate was 6.7% in March 2008, also unchanged compared with February. It was 7.3% in March 2007.

Eurostat estimates that 15,993 million men and women in the EU27, of which 10,930 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2008. Compared with February 2008, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 93,000 and 26,000 respectively. Compared with March 2007, unemployment was down by 1.4 million in the EU27 and by 0.6 million in the euro area.

Facts and figures

Among the Member States over the last year: (All figures valid from March 2008)

  • Lowest unemployment rates were registered in the Netherlands (2.6%) and Denmark (3.1% in February).
  • Highest unemployment rates in Slovakia (9.8%) and Spain (9.3%).
  • The largest falls of unemployment were observed in Poland (10.3% to 7.7%) and Bulgaria (7.5% to 5.9%).
  • the highest increases of unemployment in Spain (8.1% to 9.3%) and Ireland (4.6% to 5.6%).
  • Youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 14.5% in the euro area and 14.6% in the EU27.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.1% in the USA in March 2008, and 3.9% in Japan in February 2008.

What is the Euro 27?

The 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).