In May 2007, seasonally adjusted unemployment in the European Union stood at 7.0 percent. With 3.2 percent, the Netherlands had the lowest unemployment rate of the EU-27, followed by Denmark with 3.3 percent. The highest unemployment rates were recorded in Slovakia and Poland, where more than 10 percent of the labour force were unemployed.
Unemployment in the EU-27, May 2007
Youth unemployment also lowest in the Netherlands
With 5.7 percent, youth (aged 15-24) unemployment in the Netherlands was also the lowest in the EU. Altogether, 15.9 percent of the young labour force were unemployed in the European Union. The youth unemployment rate was also relatively low in Denmark, Ireland and Austria. In Greece, Poland, France and Romania, on the other hand, the rate exceeded 20 percent.
Youth unemployment in the EU-27, May 2007
Female unemployment often higher
In most European countries, more women than men were looking for a job. In May this year, 6.2 percent of men and 8.0 percent of women were unemployed in the EU. In six EU member states, i.e. England, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania, unemployed men outnumbered unemployed women.
Unemployment in EU declines
Overall unemployment has declined in the EU since mid-2004. Unemployment (not adjusted for seasonal effects) totalled 15.9 million people in May 2007, which is 2.3 million down on one year previously. Germany, Poland and France accounted for more than two thirds of the reduction. The number of unemployed declined in nearly all EU member states, except in Hungary, Portugal and Romania. In these three EU member states unemployment indeed increased over the past year.
Unemployed in the EU-27
Diana Janjetovic and Bart Nauta