Euro area unemployment at 10.9% and EU27 at 10.2%

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The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.9% in March 2012, compared with 10.8% in February. It was 9.9% in March 2011. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.2% in March 2012, stable compared with February. It was 9.4% in March 2011.

Eurostat estimates that 24.772 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17.365 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2012. Compared with February 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by 193 000 in the EU27 and by 169 000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2011, unemployment rose by 2.123 million in the EU27 and by 1.732 million in the euro area.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.0%), the Netherlands (5.0%), Luxembourg (5.2%) and Germany (5.6%), and the highest in Spain (24.1%) and Greece (21.7% in January 2012). Malta stood at 6.8%.

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in eight Member States and increased in nineteen. The largest falls were observed in Lithuania (17.5% to 14.3% between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011), Latvia (17.1% to 14.6% between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011) and Estonia (13.9% to 11.7% between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011). The highest increases were registered in Greece (14.7% to 21.7% between January 2011 and January 2012), Spain (20.8% to 24.1%) and Cyprus (6.9% to 10.0%). Malta stood at 6.3% to 6.8%.

Between March 2011 and March 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 9.7% to 10.8% in the euro area and from 9.3% to 10.2% in the EU27. Malta stood at 6.1% to 6.0%. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.2% to 11.2% in the euro area and from 9.6% to 10.3% in the EU27. Malta stood at 7.2% to 8.2%.

In March 2012, 5.516 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.345 million were in the euro area. Compared with March 2011, youth unemployment increased by 303 000 in the EU27 and by 163 000 in the euro area.

In March 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 22.6% in the EU27 and 22.1% in the euro area. In March 2011 it was 21.0% and 20.6% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.9%), Austria (8.6%) and the Netherlands (9.3%), and the highest in Greece (51.2% in January 2012) and Spain (51.1%). Malta remained the same at 13.6%.

In March 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.2% in the USA. In February 2012 it was 4.5% in Japan.

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

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