The EU27 unemployment rate was 7.6% in January 2009,compared with 7.5% in December 20083. It was 6.8% in January 2008. Eurostat estimates that 18.412 million men and women in the EU27, of which 13.036 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in January 2009.
Compared with December 2008, the number of persons unemployed increased by 386 000 in the EU27 and by 256 000 in the euro area. Compared with January 2008, unemployment went up by 2.194 million in the EU27 and by 1.641 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (2.8%) and Austria (4.0%), and the highest in Spain (14.8%) and Latvia (12.3%).
Compared with a year ago, six Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate and nineteen an increase, while in two Member States it remained stable. The largest falls were observed in Poland (8.0% to 6.7%)
and Bulgaria (6.1% to 5.3%), and the highest increases in Latvia (6.2% to 12.3%) and Spain (9.0% to 14.8%).