Greece retains the highest unemployment rate in Europe despite decreases compared to previous years according to the latest figures released by Eurostat yesterday.
According to the data, as of December 2019, Greece recorded the highest youth unemployment at 35.6% (October 2019), then Spain at 30.0% followed by Italy at 28.9% with the lowest rates recorded in Czechia (4.3%), Germany (5.8%) and the Netherlands (6.7%),
The average youth unemployment rate in the EU28 was 14.1% and 15.3% in the euro area, compared with 14.6% and 16.2% respectively in December 2018.
In December 2019, 3.155 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.213 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2018, youth unemployment decreased by 143 000 in the EU28 and by 129 000 in the euro area.
In the euro area (EA19) the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4% in December 2019, down from 7.5% in November 2019 and from 7.8% in December 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2008. The EU28 unemployment rate was 6.2% in December 2019, down from 6.3% in November 2019 and from 6.6% in December 2018.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2019 were recorded in Czechia (2.0%) as well as in Germany and the Netherlands (both 3.2%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (16.6% in October 2019) and Spain (13.7%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 21 Member States, remained stable in Denmark, while it increased in Cyprus (from 7.4% to 7.6%), Slovenia (from 4.4% to 4.6%), Lithuania (from 5.8% to 6.1%), Portugal (from 6.6% to 6.9%), Luxembourg (from 5.2% to 5.6%) and Sweden (from 6.5% to 6.9%).
The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 18.5% to 16.6% between October 2018 and October 2019), Bulgaria (from 4.7% to 3.7%) and Croatia (from 7.3% to 6.4%). In December 2019, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.5%, stable compared with November 2019 and down from 3.9% in December 2018.