How the unemployment rate adjusted in Germany, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and other member states
Euro area unemployment at 9.5%
EU28 at 8.0%
The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.5% in March 2017, stable compared to February 2017 and down from 10.2% in March 2016. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since April 2009. The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.0% in March 2017, down from 8.1% in February 2017 and from 8.7% in March 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since January 2009. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat estimates that 19.716 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 15.515 million in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2017. Compared with February 2017, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 56 000 in the EU28 and by 5 000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2016, unemployment fell by 1.647 million in the EU28 and by 991 000 in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in March 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.2%), Germany (3.9%) and Malta (4.1%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.5% in January 2017) and Spain (18.2%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in March 2017 fell in twenty-three Member States, remained stable in France and Austria, while it increased in Denmark (from 6.0% to 6.2%), Italy (from 11.5% to 11.7%) and Lithuania (from 8.0% to 8.1%). The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (from 14.0% to 11.3%), Portugal (from 12.0% to 9.8%), Spain (from 20.3% to 18.2%) and Ireland (from 8.3% to 6.4%).
In March 2017, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.5%, down from 4.7% in February 2017 and from 5.0% in March 2016.
In March 2017, 3.883 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.727 million were in the euro area. Compared with March 2016, youth unemployment decreased by 439 000 in the EU28 and by 268 000 in the euro area. In March 2017, the youth unemployment rate was 17.2% in the EU28 and 19.4% in the euro area, compared with 19.1% and 21.3% respectively in March 2016. In March 2017, the lowest rate was observed in Germany (6.7%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (48.0% in January 2017), Spain (40.5%) and Italy (34.1%).
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definition
Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the euro area and the EU. These unemployment rates are based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The measurement is based on a harmonised source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS). Based on the ILO definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who:
– are without work;
– are available to start work within the next two weeks;
– and have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.
The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force is the total number of people employed plus unemployed. In this news release unemployment rates are based on employment and unemployment data covering persons aged 15 to 74.
The youth unemployment rate is the number of people aged 15 to 24 unemployed as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. Therefore, the youth unemployment rate should not be interpreted as the share of jobless people in the overall youth population.
When data for the most recent month are not available for a Member State, EU and EA aggregates are calculated using the latest data available for that Member State.
Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Iceland: the trend component is used instead of the more volatile seasonally adjusted data. Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Norway: 3-month moving averages of LFS data are used instead of pure monthly indicators.
Revisions and timetable
The data in this News Release can be subject to revisions, caused by updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added; the inclusion of the most recent LFS data in the calculation process; update of seasonal adjustment models with complete annual data.
Compared with the rates published in News Release 55/2017 of 3 April 2017, the February 2017 unemployment rate was revised by 0.1 percentage points (pp) upwards for the EU28 and remains unchanged for the EA19. Among Member States, rates have been revised by more than 0.1 pp downwards for Denmark (by 0.2 pp). The unemployment rate has been revised by more than 0.1 pp upwards for Greece (by 0.4 pp, data for December 2016) as well as for Spain (by 0.2 pp).