Eurostat estimates that 23.130 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.808 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2010. Compared with February 2010, the number of persons unemployed increased by 123 000 in the EU27 and by 101 000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2009, unemployment went up by 2.546 million in the EU27 and by 1.389 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (4.1%) and Austria (4.9%), and the highest rates in Latvia (22.3%) and Spain (19.1%).
Compared with a year ago, one Member State recorded a fall in the unemployment rate and twenty-six an increase. The fall was observed in Germany (7.4% to 7.3%), and the smallest increases in Luxembourg (5.4% to 5.6%) and Malta (6.7% to 6.9%). The highest increases were registered in Latvia (14.3% to 22.3%), Estonia (7.6% to 15.5% between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009) and Lithuania (8.1% to 15.8% between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009).
Between March 2009 and March 2010, the unemployment rate for males rose from 8.9% to 10.0% in the euro area and from 8.6% to 9.8% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 9.3% to 10.1% in the euro area and from 8.5% to 9.4% in the EU27.
In March 2010, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 19.9% in the euro area and 20.6% in the EU27. In March 2009 it was 19.0% and 18.9% respectively. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (7.4%), and the highest rates in Latvia (44.9% in the first quarter of 2010) and Spain (41.2%).