After adjustment for seasonal effects, unemployment in the European Union was 6.9 percent in August 2008. This is the equivalent of just over 16.5 million unemployed. The Netherlands had the lowest rate of unemployment of all 27 member states: 2.6 percnet. The rate was highest in Spain, where 11.3 percent of the labour force were jobless.
Unemployment in the EU-27, August 2008
EU unemployment fairly stable in 2008
Unemployment in the eurozone was higher. In August 2008 7.5 percent of the labour force did not have a paid job. The difference between the EU and the eurozone has increased steadily in the past twelve months.
Unemployment in the EU-27, eurozone, US and the Netherlands
Unemployment in the United States was lower than in the EU. Unemployment there has risen strongly in the past year, though, by 1.4 percent points to 6.1 percent in August 2008.
Strongest fall in Poland
In more than half of the countries in the EU unemployment fell in the last twelve months. The strongest falls were in Poland and Austria. Unemployment rose in six EU countries, by most in Spain and Ireland.
Youth unemployment (15-24 years) in the EU-27, eurozone, US and the Netherlands
Youth unemployment down further
Youth unemployment in the EU peaked at 18.6 percent at the end of 2004. It subsequently fell gradually, to reach 14.9 percent in August 2008. Among other countries, youth unemployment dropped sharply in Bulgaria, Poland and Malta. The decrease in these countries was by more than 3 percent points.
Diana Janjetovic and Bart Nauta