Euro-area seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 12.1% in November, unchanged since April and up from 11.8% a year ago; EU rate of 10.9% has not changed since May, is up slightly from 10.8% a year ago: Eurostat

BRUSSELS , January 8, 2014 (press release) –

The euro area1 (EA17) seasonally-adjusted2 unemployment rate3 was 12.1% in November 2013, stable since April4. The EU281 unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable since May4. In both zones, the rates increased compared with November 2012, when they were 11.8% and 10.8% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 26.553 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 19.241 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2013. Compared with October 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 19 000 in the EU28 and by 4 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2012, unemployment rose by
278 000 in the EU28 and by 452 000 in the euro area.

Member States

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.2%) and Luxembourg (6.1%), and the highest in Greece (27.4% in September 2013) and Spain (26.7%).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in fourteen Member States and fell in fourteen. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (13.3% to 17.3%), Italy (11.3% to 12.7%), Greece (26.0% to 27.4% between September 2012 and September 2013) and the Netherlands (5.6% to 6.9%). The largest decreases were observed in Ireland (14.3% to 12.3%), Latvia (14.0% to 12.0% between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013), Lithuania (13.0% to 11.3%), Portugal (17.0% to 15.5%) and Hungary (11.0% to 9.5% between October 2012 and October 2013).

In November 2013, the unemployment rate in the United States was 7.0%, down from 7.3% in October 2013 and from 7.8% in November 2012.


Youth unemployment

In November 2013, 5.661 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.575 million were in the euro area. Compared with November 2012, youth unemployment decreased by 46 000 in the EU28 and increased by 2 000 in the euro area. In November 2013, the youth unemployment rate5 was 23.6% in the EU28 and 24.2% in the euro area, compared with 23.4% and 23.9% respectively in November 2012. In November 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.5%) and Austria (8.6%), and the highest in Spain (57.7%), Greece (54.8% in September 2013) and Croatia (49.7% in the third quarter of 2013).

1.   Up to 31 December 2013, the euro area (EA17) included Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. From 1 January 2014 the euro area (EA18) also includes Latvia.

The EU28 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Croatia (HR), 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).

As part of Eurostat's guidelines for the dissemination of data when the euro area is enlarged, the aggregate data series commented on in this News Release refer to the official composition of the euro area in the most recent month for which data is available. Thus News Releases with data for months up to December 2013 comment on EA17 series, while Releases with data for January 2014 onwards will comment on EA18 series.

Eurostat's guidelines can be found on the Eurostat website:

The tables also include Iceland (IS), Norway (NO) and the United States (US).

2.   Non-seasonally adjusted and trend data can be found in the statistical database on the Eurostat website. For further details please refer to the Unemployment statistics article in Statistics Explained:

3.   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.

4.   The data in this News Release are normally subject to small revisions, caused by the updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added. Larger revisions can occur when the most recent LFS data are included in the calculation process. Compared with the rates published in News Release 179/2013 of 29 November 2013, the October 2013 unemployment rates remain unchanged at 12.1% for the EA17 and at 10.9% for the EU28. Among Member States, the rate has been revised by between 0.2 and 0.4 percentage points for Bulgaria, Denmark, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. The rate has been revised downwards by 0.6 percentage points for Belgium and upwards by 0.8 percentage points for Croatia.

5.   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. For further details please refer to the Youth unemployment article in Statistics Explained:

6.   Latvia: quarterly data for all series.

Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Slovenia: quarterly data for youth unemployment.

7.   For Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Iceland the trend component is used instead of the more volatile seasonally adjusted data.

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