The 27-member European Union ended May 2013 with 10.9 per cent unemployment, seasonally adjusted, unchanged from April, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.
Including Croatia, which joined the EU on July 1, the unemployment figure is 11 per cent, unchanged in May.
Unemployment – also seasonally-adjusted – in the 17-member euro zone was 12.1 per cent in May, up from 12 per cent a month earlier, Eurostat said.
In Bulgaria, unemployment in May was 12.7 per cent, down from 12.8 per cent in April, but 0.5 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
Eurostat estimates that 26.405 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 19.222 million were in the euro zone, were unemployed in May 2013.
Compared with April 2013, the number of unemployed increased by 16 000 in the EU27 and by 67 000 in the euro area. Compared with May 2012, unemployment rose by 1.324 million in the EU27 and by 1.344 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.7 per cent), Germany (5.3 per cent), Luxembourg (5.7 per cent) and the highest in Spain (26.9 per cent) and Greece (26.8 per cent in March).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in 17 member states and fell in 10. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (11.4 per cent to 16.3 per cent), Greece (22.2 per cent to 26.8 per cent between March 2012 and March 2013), and Slovenia (8.6 per cent to 11.2 per cent).
The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.5 per cent to 12.4 per cent between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013), Estonia (10 per cent to 8.3 per cent between April 2012 and April 2013) and Lithuania (13.3 per cent to 11.7 per cent).
Youth unemployment was down on a monthly basis – from 23.2 per cent to 23 per cent in the EU27 and from 23.9 per cent to 23.8 per cent in the euro zone – but still higher than in May 2012, when it was 22.8 per cent in the EU27 and 23 per cent in the euro area.
(Photo: Sergio Roberto Bichara/sxc.hu)