Euro area unemployment stable at 7.1% – EU27 down to 6.7%

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EurostatThe euro area (EA15) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.1% in February 2008, unchanged compared with January. It was 7.6% in February 2007. The EU27 unemployment rate was 6.7% in February 2008, compared with 6.8% in January3. It was 7.4% in February 2007.

Eurostat estimates that 15.970 million men and women in the EU27, of which 10.909 million in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2008. Compared with January 2008, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 130 000 and 59 000 respectively. Compared with February 2007, unemployment was down by 1.5 million in the EU27 and by 0.7 million in the euro area. These figures are published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rate was registered in the Netherlands (2.7%) and the highest in Slovakia (9.9%).


Over the last year, twenty-two Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate, four an increase and one remained stable. The largest falls were observed in Poland (10.8% to 8.0%), Bulgaria (7.7% to 6.0%) and Slovakia (11.5% to 9.9%), and the highest increase in Spain (8.1% to 9.0%).

The unemployment rate for males fell from 6.7% to 6.3% between February 2007 and February 2008 in the euro area and from 6.8% to 6.2% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate declined from 8.7% to 8.0% in the euro area and from 8.1% to 7.3% in the EU27.

In February 2008, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 14.4% in the euro area and 14.6% in the EU27. In February 2007 it was 15.0% and 15.8% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in the Netherlands (5.1%) and Austria (7.7%), and the highest in Greece and Italy (both 21.8% in the fourth quarter 2007).

In February 2008, the unemployment rate was 4.8% in the USA and 3.9% in Japan.

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