Eurostat estimates that 23.816 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 16.469 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2011. Compared with November 2011, the number of persons unemployed increased by 24.000 in the EU27 and by 20 000 in the euro area.
Compared with December 2010, unemployment rose by 923.000 in the EU27 and by 751.000 in the euro area.
High and Low
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.1%), the Netherlands (4.9%) and Luxembourg (5.2%), and the highest in Spain (22.9%), Greece (19.2% in October 2011) and Lithuania (15.3% in the third quarter of 2011).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in fourteen Member States, remained unchanged in Ireland and rose in twelve Member States. The largest falls were observed in Estonia (16.1% to 11.3% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011), Latvia (18.2% to 14.8% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011) and Lithuania (18.3% to 15.3% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011).
The highest increases were registered in Greece (13.9% to 19.2% between October 2010 and October 2011), Cyprus (6.1% to 9.3%) and Spain (20.4% to 22.9%).
Men and women
Between December 2010 and December 2011, the unemployment rate for males increased from 9.7% to 10.2% in the euro area and from 9.5% to 9.8% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.3% to 10.6% in the euro area and from 9.6% to 9.9% in the EU27.
Young vs Grown
In December 2011, 5.493 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.290 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2010, youth unemployment increased by 241 000 in the EU27 and by 113 000 in the euro area. In December 2011, the youth unemployment rate was 22.1% in the EU27 and 21.3% in the euro area. In December 2010 it was 21.0% and 20.6% respectively.
The lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.8%), Austria (8.2%) and the Netherlands (8.6%), and the highest in Spain (48.7%), Greece (47.2% in October 2011) and Slovakia (35.6%).
USA, Japan and Norway
In December 2011, the unemployment rate was 8.5% in the USA. In November 2011 it was 4.5% in Japan and Norway had 3.4% end November 2011. Sweden 7.4% had and Denmark 7.8 for the same period with a stable figure for Sweden and an increase of 0.3% for Denmark. UK had 8.4%.
EC Facts February 2012
Source; Eurostat and SSB