The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.5% in November 2009, compared with 9.4% in October. It was 7.5% in November 2008.
For the euro area this is the highest rate since August 1998 and for the EU27 since the start of the series (January 2000).
Eurostat estimates that 22.899 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.712 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2009. Compared with October, the number of persons unemployed increased by 185 000 in the EU27 and by 102 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2008, unemployment went up by 4.978 million in the EU27 and by 3.041 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (3.9%) and Austria (5.5%), and the highest rates in Latvia (22.3%) and Spain (19.4%).
Compared with a year ago, all Member States recorded an increase in their unemployment rate. The smallest increases were observed in Germany (7.1% to 7.6%), Luxemburg (5.2% to 6.0%) and Malta (6.2% to 7.0%). The highest increases were registered in Latvia (10.2% to 22.3%), Estonia (6.5% to 15.2% between the third quarters of 2008 and 2009) and Lithuania (6.4% to 14.6% between the third quarters of 2008 and 2009).
Between November 2008 and November 2009, the unemployment rate for males rose from 7.5% to 9.9% in the euro area and from 7.2% to 9.7% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 8.6% to 10.0% in the euro area and from 7.8% to 9.2% in the EU27.
In November 2009, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 21.0% in the euro area and 21.4% in the EU27. In November 2008 it was 16.6% in both zones. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (7.5%), and the highest rates in Spain (43.8%) and Latvia (36.3% in the third quarter of 2009).