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Europe – EU unemployment falls slightly

31 January 2014

The unemployment rate in the 17 Eurozone countries was 12% in December, unchanged since October 2013 but still slightly above the 11.9% unemployment rate reported in December 2012, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The European Union (EU28) unemployment rate fell slightly to 10.7%, down from 10.8% in November 2013. The unemployment rate in the EU28 was 10.8% in December 2012.

In December 2013, there were 26.2 million men and women unemployed in the EU28, of whom 19 million were in the Eurozone. Compared with November 2013, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 162,000 in the EU28 and129,000 in the Eurozone. Compared with December 2012, unemployment decreased by 173,000 in the EU28 but increased by 130,000 in the Eurozone.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.1%) and Luxembourg (6.2%), and the highest in Greece (27.8% in October 2013) and Spain (25.8%).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in 14 Member States, fell in 13 and remained stable in Sweden. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (rising from 13.9% to 17.5%), Greece (rising from 26.1% to 27.8% between October 2012 and October 2013), the Netherlands (rising from 5.8% to 7%), and Italy (rising from 11.5% to 12.7%)

The largest decreases were observed in Ireland (falling from 14% to 12.1%), Latvia (falling from 14% to 12.1% between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013), Portugal (falling from 17.3% to 15.4%), Hungary (falling from 11% to 9.3% between November 2012 and November 2013) and Lithuania (falling from 13% to 11.4%).

In December 2013, the unemployment rate in the United States was 6.7%, down from 7% in November 2013 and from 7.9% in December 2012.

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