Eurostat estimates that 25.926 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.715 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2012. Compared with November 2012, the number of persons unemployed was nearly stable in both the EU27 and the euro area. Compared with December 2011, unemployment rose by 1.763million in the EU27 and by 1.796 million in the euro area. Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.3 percent), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.3 percent) and the Netherlands (5.8 percent), and the highest in Greece (26.8 percent in October 2012) and Spain (26.1 percent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in twenty Member States and fell in seven. The largest decreases were observed in Estonia (12.1 percent to 9.9 percent between November 2011 and November 2012), Latvia (15.7 percent to 14.1 percent between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012) and Lithuania (13.7 percent to 12.3 percent). The highest increases were registered in Greece (19.7 percent to 26.8 percent between October 2011 and October 2012), Cyprus (9.7 percent to 14.7 percent) and Spain (23.2 percent to 26.1 percent).