Euro area unemployment rate at 11.1%

Not good news for the unemployed
Not good news for the unemployed

Unemployment in the Euro zone stood at 11.1% in May, a rise of 0.1% from April and up by 1.1% compared to the same month in 2011.

The figure across all 27 members of the EU was at 10.3% in May, up 0.1% compared to April 2012 and up from 9.5% in the same month last year.

This is according to figures released by statistics agency Eurostat who estimate that 24,868 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17,561 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2012.

Comparing to April this year, the number of unemployed people increased by 151,000 in the EU27 and by 88,000 in the Euro zone. Comparing to May in the previous year unemployment rose by 1,952 million in the EU27 and by 1,820 million in the Euro zone.

The lowest unemployment figures were recorded by Austria (4.1%), the Netherlands (5.1%), Luxembourg (5.4%) and Germany with 5.6% unemployment. The highest, unsurprisingly, was Spain with 24.6%, followed by Greece where unemployment in March stood at 21.9%.

Comparing to May 2011, unemployment fell in eight member states, increased in 18, while remaining stable in Hungary. The largest fall recorded was in Estonia where the figure fell from 13.6% to 10.9%. In Lithuania a fall of two points from 15.7% to 13.7% was recorded. The highest increases were recorded in Greece and Spain jumping from 15.7% to 21.9% and 20.9% to 24.6% respectively. In Cyprus, the latest country to ask for help, the figure increased from 7.5% to 10.8%.

By Sex

The rate of unemployment between the sexes remains similar across Europe. In the Euro zone the rate for males increased from 9.8% to 10.9%. Across the EU27 the rate increased from 9.5% to 10.3%. For females the rate in the Euro zone increased from 10.3% to 11.3% while in the EU27 the rate increased from 9.6% to 10.4%.

Youth Unemployment

The picture for young people (under 25) continues to be bleak with higher overall figures.

In May 2012 there were 5.517 million young persons claiming unemployment in the EU27, of whom 3.412 million were in the Euro zone. Compared to May 2011, the number of young people out of work increased by 282,000 in the EU27 and by 245,000 in the Euro zone. In may of this year youth unemployment was at 22.7% in the EU27 and at 22.6% in the Euro zone, compared to the previous year when the figures were 21.0% and 20.5% respectively

The lowest rates of youth unemployment were recorded in Germany (7.9%), Austria (8.3%) and the Netherlands (9.2%), and the highest was in Greece (52.1% in March 2012) and Spain (52.1%).

You can see the full report from Eurostat here: Euro area unemployment rate at 11.1%