The 27-member European Union ended March 2013 with 10.9 per cent unemployment, seasonally adjusted, unchanged from February, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.
Unemployment – also seasonally-adjusted – in the 17-member euro zone was 12.1 per cent in March, up from 12 per cent a month earlier, Eurostat said.
In Bulgaria, unemployment in March was 12.6 per cent, unchanged for a third straight month, and 0.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
Eurostat estimates that 26.521 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 19.211 million were in the euro zone, were unemployed in March 2013.
Compared with February 2013, the number of unemployed was increased by 69 000 in the EU27 and by 62 000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2012, unemployment rose by 1.814 million in the EU27 and by 1.723 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.7 per cent), Germany (5.4 per cent), Luxembourg (5.7 per cent) and the highest in Greece (27.2 per cent in January), Spain (26.7 per cent) and Portugal (17.5 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in 19 member states and fell in eight. The highest increases were registered in Greece (21.5 per cent to 27.2 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013), Cyprus (10.7 per cent to 14.2 per cent), Spain (24.1 per cent to 26.7 per cent) and Portugal (15.1 per cent to 17.5 per cent).
The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.6 per cent to 14.3 per cent between the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2012), Estonia (10.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent between February 2012 and February 2013) and Ireland (15 per cent to 14.1 per cent).
(Photo: Sergio Roberto Bichara/sxc.hu)