Europe Unemployment Rises Less Than Forecast

European unemployment rose less than economists forecast in June as new data showed the jobless rate in Spain, the euro-area country with the most job losses in the past year, increased less than previously estimated.

The euro area (EA16) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.4% in June 2009, compared with 9.3% in May. It was 7.5% in June 2008. The EU27 unemployment rate was 8.9% in June 2009, compared with 8.8% in May. It was 6.9% in June 2008. For the euro area this is the highest rate since June 1999 and for the EU27 since June 2005.

Eurostat estimates that 21.526 million men and women in the EU27, of which 14.896 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in June 2009. Compared with May, the number of persons unemployed increased by 246 000 in the EU27 and by 158 000 in the euro area. Compared with June 2008, unemployment went up by 5.024 million in the EU27 and by 3.170 million in the euro area.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (3.3%) and Austria (4.4%), and the highest rates in Spain (18.1%), Latvia (17.2%) and Estonia (17.0%).

Compared with a year ago, all Member States recorded an increase in their unemployment rate. The smallest
increases were observed in Germany (7.3% to 7.7%), Romania (5.7% to 6.2% between the first quarters of 2008
and 2009) and the Netherlands (2.7% to 3.3%). The highest increases were registered in Estonia (4.6% to 17.0%), Latvia (6.4% to 17.2%) and Lithuania (5.1% to 15.8%).

In June 2009, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 19.5% in the euro area and 19.6% in the EU27. In June 2008 it was 15.2% and 15.1% respectively. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (6.3%), and the highest rates in Spain (36.5%) and Lithuania (31.0% in the second quarter of 2009)., Bloomberg, Eurostat
7/31/2009 9:34:18 AM