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The latest unemployment figures published today by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro area (EA16*) was 10.0% in May 2010, unchanged compared to April. It was 9.4% in May 2009.
The EU27** unemployment rate was 9.6% in May 2010, unchanged compared with April. It was 8.9% in May 2009.
Eurostat estimates that 23.127 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.789 million were in the Euro area, were unemployed in May 2010. Compared with April 2010, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 37,000 in the EU27. In the Euro area, the number of persons unemployed increased by 35,000. Compared with May 2009, unemployment rose by 1.801 million in the EU27, and by 0.991 million in the Euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.0%) and the Netherlands (4.3%), and the highest rates in Latvia (20.0% in the first quarter of 2010), Spain (19.9%) and Estonia (19.0% in the first quarter of 2010).
Compared with a year ago, five Member States recorded a fall in the unemployment rate and twenty-two an increase. The largest falls were observed in Austria (4.9% to 4.0%) and Germany (7.6% to 7.0%). The highest increases were registered in Estonia (11.0% to 19.0% between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010) and Latvia (13.5% to 20.0% between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010).
Between May 2009 and May 2010, the unemployment rate for males rose from 9.2% to 9.9% in the euro area and from 8.9% to 9.7% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 9.5% to 10.2% in the euro area and from 8.8% to 9.5% in the EU27.
In May 2010, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 19.9% in the euro area and 20.5% in the EU27. In May 2009 it was 19.4% and 19.5% respectively. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (8.1%), and the highest rates in Spain (40.5%), Estonia (39.8% in the first quarter of 2010) and Latvia (39.7% in the first quarter of 2010).
As a comparison, the unemployment rate in the USA was 9.7% in May 2010 and 5.2% in Japan.
*The Euro area (EA16) consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
**The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).