The lowest unemployment rate in the euro area since 2008
The European Union (EU) and the euro area unemployment rates remained stable in July 2019 compared to the previous month.
According to the latest data released by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), the euro area seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5%, unchanged compared with June 2019 and down from 8.1% in July 2018. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the Euro area since 2008.
For the whole European Union (28 Member States), unemployment rate recorded in July 2019 was 6.3%, also stable compared to the previous month and down from 6.8% in July 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. In other words, the lowest unemployment rate recorded this century.
Still 15.6 million unemployed
However, unemployment remains one of the main problems for Europeans. The figures published by Eurostat show that 15.613 million men and women in the EU, of whom 12.322 million in the euro area, were unemployed in July 2019.
Compared with June 2019, the number of persons unemployed increased by 27,000 in the EU and decreased by 16,000 in the euro area. Compared with July 2018, unemployment fell by 1.093 million in the EU and by 898,000 in the euro area.
The situation varies among the different Member States. The lowest unemployment rates in July 2019 were recorded in Czechia (2.1%) and Germany (3%). On the contrary, the highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (17.2% in May 2019) and Spain (13.9%).
In Finland, unemployment rate increased slightly in July (up to 6.7%) compared to the previous month (6.6%). In annual terms, unemployment decreased seven percentage decimals compared to July 2018 (7.4%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 25 Member States while it increased in Luxembourg (from 5.6% to 5.7%), Lithuania (from 6.1% to 6.4%) and Sweden (from 6.3% to 6.8%).
The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 19.4% to 17.2% between May 2018 and May 2019), Croatia (from 8.4% to 7.1%), Cyprus (from 8.3% to 7.0%), Slovakia (from 6.5% to 5.3%) and Spain (from 15.0% to 13.9%).
In July 2019, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.7%, stable compared with June 2019 and down from 3.9% in July 2018.
According to Eurostat, 3.195 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.245 million were in the euro area. Compared with July 2018, youth unemployment decreased by 167,000 in the EU and by 149,000 in the euro area.
In July 2019, the youth unemployment rate was 14.3% in the EU and 15.6% in the euro area, compared with 15% and 16.7% respectively in July 2018.
The lowest youth unemployment rates were observed in Germany (5.6%), the Netherlands (6.7%) and Czechia (7%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (39.6% in the first quarter of 2019), Spain (32.1%) and Italy (28.9%).