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According to the latest labour market figures published by the European Union's (EU) statistics office Eurostat, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the 16 countries which have the Euro as their currency (EA16) was 9.8% in October 2009, the same as in September. It was 7.9% in October 2008.
The unemployment rate of all EU countries (EU27) was 9.3% in October 2009, compared with 9.2% in September. It was 7.3% in October 2008.
Eurostat estimates that 22.510 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.567 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in October 2009. Compared with September, the number of persons unemployed increased by 258,000 in the EU27 and by 134,000 in the euro area. Compared with October 2008, unemployment went up by 5.002 million in the EU27 and by 3.149 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (3.7%) and Austria (4.7%), and the highest rates in Latvia (20.9%) and Spain (19.3%).
Compared with a year ago, all member states recorded an increase in their unemployment rate. The smallest increases were observed in Germany (7.1% to 7.5%), Austria (4.0% to 4.7%) and Romania (5.7% to 6.4% between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009). The highest increases were registered in Latvia (9.1% to 20.9%) and Lithuania (4.8% to 13.8% between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009).
Between October 2008 and October 2009, the unemployment rate for males rose from 7.3% to 9.7% in the euro area and from 7.0% to 9.5% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 8.5% to 10.0% in the euro area and from 7.6% to 9.2% in the EU27.
In October 2009, the youth unemployment rate (under 25s) was 20.6% in the euro area and 20.7% in the EU27. In October 2008 it was 16.2% in both zones. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (7.2%), and the highest rates in Spain (42.9%) and Latvia (33.6% in the third quarter of 2009).
As a comparison, the October 2009 unemployment rate was 10.2% the USA and 5.1% in Japan.
To read the full Eurostat Unemployment Indicator please click here