Unemployment in Bulgaria was 7.1 per cent in April 2016, down from 10 per cent in April 2015, and remaining below the average unemployment figure for the European Union of which the country is a member.
This is the second-largest decrease in unemployment in an EU country in the past year.
This is according to seasonally-adjusted figures released by EU statistics agency Eurostat on May 31 2016.
Eurostat said that in April 2015, there were about 335 000 unemployed people in Bulgaria. A year later, this number had dropped to about 235 000.
Youth unemployment in Bulgaria also dropped significantly, on an annual basis, according to Eurostat figures.
In April 2015, youth unemployment in Bulgaria was 22.6 per cent (about 43 000 people, under 25). In April 2016, youth unemployment fell to 17.4 per cent (about 27 000 people).
Eurostat said that in April 2106, unemployment in the 19-member euro zone – of which Bulgaria is not a member – was 10.2 per cent, stable compared with March 2016, and down from 11 per cent in April 2015.
This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro zone since August 2011.
Across the 28-member EU, unemployment was 8.7 per cent in April 2016, down from 8.8 per cent in March 2016, and from 9.6 per cent in April 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since April 2009.
Eurostat estimateed that 21.224 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.420 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2016.
Compared with March 2016, the number of people unemployed decreased by 106 000 in the EU28 and by 63 000 in the euro area. Compared with April 2015, unemployment fell by 2.096 million in the EU28 and by 1.309 million in the euro zone.
Among EU member countries, unemployment in April 2016 was lowest in the Czech Republic (4.1 per cent), Germany (4.2 per cent) and Malta (4.3 per cent).
Unemployment in the EU was highest in Greece (24.2 per cent in February 2016) and Spain (20.1 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, unemployment fell in 25 EU countries, remained stable in Belgium and increased in Estonia (from 6.7 per cent in March 2015 to 6.8 per cent in March 2016) and Latvia (from 9.5 per cent to 9.6 per cent).
The largest decreases were registered in Cyprus (from 15.7 per cent to 11.6 per cent), Bulgaria (from 10 per cent to 7.1 per cent) and Spain (from 22.7 per cent to 20.1 per cent).
As to youth unemployment, in April 2016, 4.235 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.932 million were in the euro area.
Compared with April 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 495 000 in the EU28 and by 261 000 in the euro zone.
In April 2016, youth unemployment was 18.8 per cent in the EU28 and 21.1 per cent in the euro area, compared with 20.7 per cent and 22.5 per cent, respectively, in April 2015.
In April 2016, the lowest rates of youth unemployment were observed in Germany (seven per cent), Malta (8.9 per cent) and the Czech Republic (9.5 per cent), and the highest in Greece (51.4 per cent in February 2016), Spain (45 per cent), Croatia (38.9 per cent in the first quarter 2016) and Italy (36.9 per cent), Eurostat said.
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