Unemployment in the EU falls to lowest level in this century
The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5% in June 2019, down from 7.6% in May and from 8.2% in June 2018. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since July 2008.
In the whole European Union (EU28) unemployment rate was 6.3%, stable compared with May 2019 and down from 6.8% in June 2018. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 15.67 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 12.37 million in the euro area, were unemployed in June 2019.
Compared with May 2019, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 36,000 in the EU28 and by 45,000 in the euro area. Compared with June 2018, unemployment fell by 1.20 million in the EU28 and by 1.03 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in June 2019 were recorded in Czechia (1.9%) and Germany (3.1%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (17.6% in April 2019) and Spain (14.%). In Finland, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6%, according to Eurostat terms.
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 24 Member States and remained stable in Estonia and Poland, while it increased in Sweden (from 6.3% to 6.4%) and Luxembourg (from 5.6% to 5.8%). The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 19.8% to 17.6% between April 2018 and April 2019), Cyprus (from 8.3% to 6.5%), Croatia (from 8.6% to 7.1%), Ireland (from 5.9% to 4.5%) and Slovakia (from 6.7% to 5.4%).
In June 2019, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.7%, up from 3.6% in May 2019 and down from 4.0% in June 2018.
Youth unemployment decreased
According to Eurostat, in June 2019 there were 3.17 million young persons (under 25) unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.25 million were in the euro area. Compared with June 2018, youth unemployment decreased by 239,000 in the EU28 and by 179,000 in the euro area.
The youth unemployment rate was 14.1% in the EU28 and 15.4% in the euro area, compared with 15.2% and 17.0% respectively in June 2018. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (5.5%), the Netherlands (6.5%) and Czechia (6.6%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (39.6% in the first quarter of 2019), Spain (32.4%) and Italy (28.1%).
Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the euro area and the EU. These unemployment rates are based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The measurement is based on a harmonised source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Based on the ILO definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who:
- Are without work.
- Are available to start working within the next two weeks.
- And have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.