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Europe – Euro area unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2008

05 April 2018

The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 8.5% in February 2018, down from 9.5% in February 2017. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since December 2008, according to Eurostat, the statistical body of the EU.

Eurostat’s data also showed that the EU28 unemployment rate was 7.1% in February 2018, down from 8.0% in February 2017 and the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since September 2008. Eurostat estimated that 17.632 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 13.916 million in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2018. Compared with February 2017, unemployment fell by 1.96 million in the EU28 and by 1.43 million in the euro area.

On a month-to-month basis, the unemployment rate in both the euro area and the EU28 decreased by 0.1% in February.

Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates in February 2018 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.4%), Germany and Malta (both 3.5%). The highest unemployment rates were seen in Greece (20.8% in December 2017) and Spain (16.1%).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all member states except Estonia where it increased (from 5.8% to 6.5% between January 2017 and January 2018). The largest decrease was registered in Cyprus (from 12.6% to 9.6%.).

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