Unemployment in Bulgaria was 9.7 per cent in May 2015, down from 11.5 per cent in May 2014, according to figures released by European Union statistics agency Eurostat on June 30.
Eurostat’s seasonally-adjusted figures showed that in May 2015, about 326 000 Bulgarians were jobless, while the same month a year earlier, the figure had been 387 000.
Bulgaria showed similar progress against youth unemployment. In May 2015, youth unemployment in Bulgaria was 19.7 per cent (an estimated 38 000 under-25s) while in May 2014, the figure was 24.4 per cent (about 50 000 under-25s).
The Eurostat figures showed unemployment in Bulgaria having decreased from 9.8 per cent in April 2015 and 9.9 per cent in March 2015.
Eurostat said that in the 19-member euro zone (of which Bulgaria is not a member), the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.1 per cent in May 2015, stable compared with April 2015, and down from 11.6 per cent in May 2014.
This is the lowest unemployment rate recorded in the euro area since March 2012.
In the 28-member EU, unemployment was 9.6 per cent in May 2015, also stable compared with April 2015 and down from 10.3 per cent in May 2014. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since July 2011.
Eurostat estimates that 23.348 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 17.726 million in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2015.
Compared with April 2015, the number of unemployed people decreased by 38 000 in the EU28 and by 35 000 in the euro area. Compared with May 2014, unemployment fell by 1.575 million in the EU28 and by 939 000 in the euro area.
Among EU countries, unemployment in May 2015 was lowest in Germany (4.7 per cent), and the highest in Greece (25.6 per cent in March 2015) and Spain (22.5 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in May 2015 fell in 22 EU countries, increased in five and remained stable in Cyprus.
The largest decreases were registered in Lithuania (11 per cent to 8.2 per cent), Spain (24.7 per cent to 22.5 per cent) and Ireland (11.7 per cent to 9.8 per cent).
The increases were registered in Belgium (8.4 per cent to 8.6 per cent), France (10.1 per cent to 10.3 per cent), Romania (6.8 per cent to 7.1 per cent), Austria (5.6 per cent to six per cent) and Finland (8.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent).
As regards youth unemployment, in May 2015, 4.707 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.136 million were in the euro area.
Compared with May 2014, youth unemployment decreased by 450 000 in the EU28 and by 300 000 in the euro area.
In May 2015, the youth unemployment rate was 20.6 per cent in the EU28 and 22.1 per cent in the euro area, compared with 22.2 per cent and 23.8 per cent, respectively, in May 2014.
In May 2015, the lowest youth unemployment rates were in Germany (7.1 per cent), Denmark (10 per cent) and Austria (10.1 per cent), and the highest in Greece (49.7 per cent in March 2015), Spain (49.3 per cent), Croatia (43.6 per cent in the first quarter 2015) and Italy (41.5 per cent).
(Photo: Mark Puplava/freeimages.com)