The 27-member European Union ended 2012 with 10.7 per cent unemployment in December, seasonally adjusted, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.
In December 2012, unemployment – also seasonally-adjusted – in the 17-member euro zone was 11.7 per cent, Eurostat said. In Bulgaria, unemployment in December 2012 was 12.3 per cent.
In the euro zone and in the EU, unemployment in the last month of 2012 was stable compared with November, Eurostat said.
In both zones, unemployment has risen markedly compared with December 2011, when it was 10.7 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Eurostat estimates that 25.926 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.715 million were in the euro zone, were unemployed in December 2012.
Compared with November 2012, the number of unemployed was nearly stable in both the EU27 and the euro area. Compared with December 2011, unemployment rose by 1.763 million in the EU27 and by 1.796 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment was in Austria (4.3 per cent), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.3 per cent) and the Netherlands (5.8 per cent), and the highest in Greece (26.8 per cent in October 2012) and Spain (26.1 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, unemployment increased in 20 EU member states and fell in seven. The largest decreases were in Estonia (12.1 per cent to 9.9 per cent between November 2011 and November 2012), Latvia (15.7 per cent to 14.1 per cent between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012) and Lithuania (13.7 per cent to 12.3 per cent). The highest increases were registered in Greece (19.7 per cent to 26.8 per cent between October 2011 and October 2012), Cyprus( 9.7 per cent to 14.7 per cent) and Spain (23.2 per cent to 26.1 per cent).
Between December 2011 and December 2012, unemployment among men increased from 10.5 per cent to 11.6 per cent in the euro area and from 10 per cent to 10.7 per cent in the EU27. Among women, unemployment rose from 10.9 per cent to 11.8 per cent in the euro area and from 10.1 per cent to 10.7 per cent in the EU27.
In December 2012, 5.702 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.624 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2011, youth unemployment rose by 237 000 in the EU27 and by 303 000 in the euro area. In December 2012, youth unemployment was 23.4 per cent in the EU27 and 24 per cent in the euro area, compared with 22.2 per cent and 21.7 per cent respectively in December 2011. In December 2012 the lowest rates were observed in Germany (eight per cent), Austria (8.5 per cent) and the Netherlands (10 per cent), and the highest in Greece(57.6 per cent in October 2012) and Spain (55.6 per cent).
In Bulgaria, youth unemployment in December 2012 was 27.5 per cent, unchanged from November 2012 and the same as December 2011, according to Eurostat.
(Photo: Sergio Roberto Bichara/sxc.hu)