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The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9% in March 2011, unchanged compared with February. It was 10.1% in March 2010. The unemployment rate in the entire European Union (EU27) was 9.5% in March 2011, also unchanged compared with February. It was 9.7% in March 2010, according to the latest unemployment figures published today by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).
Eurostat estimates that 22.828 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.596 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2011.
Compared with February 2011, the number of persons unemployed fell by 10 000 in the EU27 and by 9 000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2010, unemployment decreased by 291 000 in the EU27 and by 260 000 in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (4.2%), Austria (4.3%) and Luxembourg (4.5%), and the highest in Spain (20.7%), Lithuania (17.3% in the fourth quarter of 2010) and Latvia (17.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in sixteen Member States, increased in ten and remained stable in Poland. The largest falls were observed in Latvia (20.1% to 17.2% between the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2010), Estonia (16.1% to 14.3% between the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2010) and Germany (7.4% to 6.3%). The highest increases were registered in Greece (10.2% to 14.1% between the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2010), Bulgaria (9.7% to 11.4%) and Ireland (13.1% to 14.7%).
Between March 2010 and March 2011, the unemployment rate for males fell from 9.9% to 9.6% in the euro area and from 9.8% to 9.4% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate decreased from 10.3% to 10.2% in the euro area, but increased from 9.5% to 9.6% in the EU27.
In March 2011, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 19.8% in the euro area and 20.7% in the EU27. In March 2010 it was 20.9% and 21.1% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in the Netherlands (6.9%), Germany (8.2%) and Austria (9.4%), and the highest in Spain (44.6%), Greece (36.1% in the fourth quarter of 2010), Slovakia (35.2%) and Lithuania (34.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010).
As a comparison, the unemployment rate was 8.8% in the USA in March 2011. In February 2011, it was 4.6% in Japan.