Unemployment in Bulgaria in July 2016 was 7.9 per cent, below the European Union average of 8.6 per cent, and down from 9.2 per cent a year earlier, according to figures released by EU statistics agency Eurostat on August 31.
In July 2015, 306 000 people in Bulgaria were unemployed. In July 2016, this fell to 259 000 people, going by Eurostat’s figures.
Unemployment in Bulgaria was eight per cent in April, May and June 2016, the July figure representing the first time it fell below eight per cent.
Youth unemployment in Bulgaria also showed a significant decrease, from 21.7 per cent in July 2015 (about 40 000 people under 25) to 14.5 per cent in July 2016 (about 24 000 people).
Releasing its seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures, Eurostat said that in the 19-member euro zone, unemployment was 10.1 per cent in July 2016, stable compared to June 2016 and down from 10.8 per cent in July 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since July 2011.
The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent in July 2016, stable compared to June 2016 and down from 9.4 per cent in July 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since March 2009.
Eurostat estimates that 21.063 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.307 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in July 2016.
Compared with June 2016, the number of people unemployed decreased by 29 000 in the EU28 and by 43 000 in the euro area.
Compared with July 2015, unemployment fell by 1.688 million in the EU28 and by 1.034 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates in July 2016 were recorded in Malta (3.9 per cent) as well as in the Czech Republic and Germany (both 4.2 per cent).
The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.5 per cent in May 2016) and Spain (19.6 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in July 2016 fell in 24 EU countries, remained stable in Denmark, while it increased in Estonia (from 6.1 per cent to seven per cent between June 2015 and June 2016), Austria (from 5.7 per cent to six per cent) and Belgium (from 8.1 per cent to 8.3 per cent).
The largest decreases were registered in Cyprus (from 15.0 per cent to 11.6 per cent), Croatia (from 16.5 per cent to 13.2 per cent) and Spain (from 21.9 per cent to 19.6 per cent)
In July 2016, 4.276 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.969 million were in the euro area.
Compared with July 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 310 000 in the EU28 and by 136 000 in the euro area.
In July 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 18.8 per cent in the EU28 and 21.1 per cent in the euro area, compared with 20.2 per cent and 22.1 per cent respectively in July 2015.
In July 2016, the lowest rates were observed in Malta (7.1 per cent) and Germany (7.2 per cent), and the highest in Greece (50.3 per cent in May 2016), Spain (43.9 per cent) and Italy (39.2 per cent).
(Photo: Mark Puplava/freeimages.com)