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Europe - Regional unemployment ranges between 2.7% and almost 29%

25 November 2011

Regional unemployment rates varied widely across the entire European Union (EU27) in 2010, with the lowest rates recorded in the regions of Zeeland in the Netherlands and Bolzano/Bozen in Italy (both 2.7%) as well as Tirol (2.8%) and Salzburg (2.9%) in Austria, while the highest rates were registered in the French Overseas Department of Réunion (28.9%) and the regions of Canarias (28.7%) and Andalucía (28%) in Spain. Between 2009 and 2010 the unemployment rate rose in nearly two-thirds of the 271 NUTS-2 regions of the EU27.

Among the regions, 32 had an unemployment rate of 4.8% or less in 2010, half the average for the EU27. They included eight regions in the Netherlands, eight out of nine regions in Austria, seven in Germany, three in Italy, two in Belgium, and one each in the Czech Republic, Romania and the United Kingdom as well as Luxembourg. At the other extreme, thirteen regions had a rate of 19.2% or higher, double that of the EU27: nine regions in Spain and the four French Overseas Departments.

These data on regional unemployment, compiled on the basis of the EU Labour Force Survey, are published according to the latest data by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).

In the EU27 in 2010 both the male and female unemployment rates stood at 9.6%. This similarity was also evident at regional level, with the female unemployment rate being higher than the male rate in 131 regions, the male rate being higher in 128 regions and the rates being equal in 7 regions. In 2010, the female unemployment rate ranged from 2.5% in Tirol in Austria to 31.9% in Melilla in Spain, while the male rate varied between 2.3% in Bolzano/Bozen in Italy and 29.2% in the Canarias in Spain.

Regional differences in the unemployment rate for young people are very marked. In the EU27 in 2010, the lowest rates for young people were recorded in the German regions of Oberbayern (5.1%), Freiburg (5.4%), and Schwaben (5.5%), and the highest in Ceuta (60.2%) in Spain and the French Overseas Departments of Martinique (59.0%), Guadeloupe (55.1%) and Réunion (54.7%). In more than three quarters of the EU27 regions the unemployment rate for young people was at least twice that for total unemployment.

The long-term unemployment share, which is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, varied significantly across the regions. In the EU27 in 2010, the lowest shares of long-term unemployed were recorded in Bucureşti-Ilfov (5.0%) in Romania, North Eastern Scotland (14.0%) in the United Kingdom, Övre Norrland (14.6%) in Sweden and Notio Aigaio (14.8%) in Greece, and the highest in the French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe (78.8%), Guyane (73.6%) and Martinique (70.4%). In 43 regions more than half of the unemployed had been out of work for at least 12 months.

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).

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