Unemployment in Bulgaria in December 2016 was 7.1 per cent, unchanged from November 2016 and down from the 7.9 per cent recorded in December 2015, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on January 31.
These figures, which are seasonally-adjusted, again put Bulgaria below the EU average for unemployment in December 2016, which was 8.2 per cent – the lowest rate recorded across the 28 members of the EU since February 2009.
According to Eurostat, the 7.1 per cent unemployment rate in Bulgaria in December 2016 represented about 231 000 people – compared with the about 263 000 Bulgarians who were jobless a year earlier.
In December 2016 in Bulgaria, the percentage for youth unemployment was up from a year earlier and a month earlier. The year ended with youth unemployment in Bulgaria at 22.4 per cent. The figure was 22 per cent in November 2016 and 19.5 per cent in December 2015.
In all three cases, however, Eurostat estimated that the percentages represented about 33 000 young Bulgarians.
In an explanatory note on its regular statistics, Eurostat explained that the youth unemployment rate is the number of people aged 15 to 24 unemployed as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. Therefore, the youth unemployment rate should not be interpreted as the share of jobless people in the overall youth population.
Eurostat said on January 31 that the euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.6 per cent in December 2016, down from 9.7 per cent in November 2016 and down from 10.5 per cent in December 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2009.
Eurostat estimated that 20.065 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 15.571 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2016.
Compared with November 2016, the number of unemployed people decreased by 159 000 in the EU28 and by 121 000 in the euro area.
Compared with December 2015, unemployment fell by 1.839 million in the EU28 and by 1.256 million in the euro area.
Among EU countries, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2016 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.5 per cent) and Germany (3.9 per cent). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23 per cent in October 2016) and Spain (18.4 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in December 2016 fell in 24 EU countries, while it increased in Cyprus (from 13.1 per cent to 14.3 per cent), Italy (from 11.6 per cent to 12 per cent), Estonia (from 6.6 per cent to 6.7 per cent between November 2015 and November 2016) and Denmark (from 6.1 per cent to 6.2 per cent).
The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (from 15 per cent to 11.4 per cent), Spain (from 20.7 per cent to 18.4 per cent) and Portugal (from 12.2 per cent to 10.2 per cent)
As to youth unemployment, in December 2016, 4.219 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.957 million were in the euro area.
Compared with December 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 196 000 in the EU28 and by 88 000 in the euro area.
In December 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 18.6 per cent in the EU28 and 20.9 per cent in the euro area, compared with 19.5 per cent and 21.8 per cent, respectively, in December 2015.
In December 2016, the lowest rate of youth unemployment was in Germany (6.5 per cent), while the highest were recorded in Greece (44.2 per cent in October 2016), Spain (42.9 per cent) and Italy (40.1 per cent), Eurostat said.
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