Euro area unemployment stable at 7.1% and EU27 stable at 6.7%

The euro area (EA15) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.1% in April 2008, unchanged compared with March. It was 7.5% in April 2007. The EU271 unemployment rate was 6.7% in April 2008, also unchanged compared with March. It was 7.2% in April 2007.

Eurostat estimates that 16,047 million men and women in the EU27, of which 11,072 million in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2008. Compared with March 2008, the number of persons unemployed increased by 16,000 and 60,000 respectively. Compared with April 2007, unemployment was down by 1.1 million in the EU27 and by 0.4 million in the euro area.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were registered in Denmark (2.7%) and the Netherlands (2.8%), and the highest in Slovakia (10.0%) and Spain (9.6%).

Over the last year, twenty-four Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate and three an increase:

  • The largest falls were observed in Poland (10.1% to 7.7%), Bulgaria (7.3% to 5.5%) and Slovakia (11.4% to 10.0%).
  • The highest increases in Spain (8.1% to 9.6%) and Ireland (4.6% to 5.7%).

The unemployment rate for males fell from 6.6% to 6.4% between April 2007 and April 2008 in the euro area and from 6.6% to 6.2% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate declined from 8.6% to 8.0% in the euro area and from 8.0% to 7.3% in the EU27.

In April 2008, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 15.0% in the euro area and 14.8% in the EU27. In April 2007 it was 14.8% and 15.5% respectively.

  • The lowest rates were observed in Denmark (5.5%) and in the Netherlands (5.6%).
  • The highest rates in Spain (22.9%), Greece and Italy (both 21.8% in the fourth quarter 2007).

The unemployment rate was 5.0% in the USA in April 2008, and 3.8% in Japan in March 2008.