Euro Area Unemployment up to 8.5%

The euro area (EA16) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5% in February 2009, compared with 8.3% in January. It was 7.2% in February 2008.

The EU27 unemployment rate was 7.9% in February 2009, compared with 7.7% in January. It was 6.8% in February 2008.

Eurostat estimates that 19.156 million men and women in the EU27, of which 13.486 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2009. Compared with January, the number of persons unemployed increased by 478 000 in the EU27 and by 319 000 in the euro area. Compared with February 2008, unemployment went up by 3.019 million in the EU27 and by 2.125 million in the euro area.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Netherlands (2.7%), and the highest rates in Spain (15.5%), Latvia (14.4%) and Lithuania (13.7%). Compared with a year ago, seven Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate, nineteen an increase and the rate remained stable in one. The largest falls were observed in Bulgaria (6.2% to 5.5%) and Slovakia (10.2% to 9.8%), and the highest increases in Lithuania (4.4% to 13.7%), Latvia (6.1% to 14.4%) and Spain (9.3% to 15.5%).

Euro Area Unemployment up to 8.5%, Eurostat
4/1/2009 7:16:25 AM