Bulgaria is among European Union countries with the largest decreases in unemployment between February 2015 and February 2016, with joblessness in the country at 7.4 per cent, according to figures released on April 4 2016 by EU statistics office Eurostat.
In February 2015, unemployment in Bulgaria was 9.8 per cent, about 329 000 people. In February 2016, about 248 000 Bulgarians were out of work, according to Eurostat, citing seasonally-adjusted figures.
Unemployment in Bulgaria, in spite of the steady decrease over the past year, remains higher than the EU average, which in February 2016 was 8.9 per cent – the lowest in the EU since May 2009, Eurostat said.
Youth unemployment in Bulgaria decreased from 21.5 per cent (about 42 000 under-25s) in February 2015 to 20.8 per cent (about 35 000 people) in February 2016. Across the EU, youth unemployment was 19.4 per cent in February 2016.
Eurostat said that unemployment in the 19-member euro zone, of which Bulgaria is not a member, was 10.3 per cent in February 2016, down from down from 10.4 per cent in January 2016, and from 11.2 per cent in February 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro zone since August 2011.
The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent in February 2016, stable compared to January 2016, and down from 9.7 per cent in February 2015.
Eurostat estimates that 21.651 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.634 million were in the euro zone, were unemployed in February 2016.
Compared with January 2016, the number of unemployed people decreased by 59 000 in the EU28 and by 39 000 in the euro zone. Compared with February 2015, unemployment fell by 1.971 million in the EU28 and by 1.303 million in the euro zone.
Among EU countries, the lowest unemployment rates in February 2016 were recorded in Germany (4.3 per cent) and the Czech Republic (4.5 per cent).
Unemployment was highest in Greece (24 per cent in December 2015) and Spain (20.4 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, unemployment in February 2016 fell in 24 EU member states, remained stable in Belgium and increased in Austria (from 5.4 per cent to six per cent), Latvia (from 9.7 per cent to 10.1 per cent) and Finland (from 9.1 per cent to 9.2 per cent).
The largest decreases were in Cyprus (from 16.6 per cent to 12.6 per cent), Spain (from 23.2 per cent to 20.4 per cent), and Bulgaria (from 9.8 per cent to 7.4 per cent).
In February 2016, 4.381 million under-25s were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.011 million were in the euro zone.
Compared with February 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 428 000 in the EU28 and by 219 000 in the euro zone.
In February 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 19.4 per cent in the EU28 and 21.6 per cent in the euro zone, compared with 20.9 per cent and 22.7 per cent, respectively, in February 2015.
In February 2016, the lowest rates of youth unemployment were in Germany (6.9 per cent), the Czech Republic (10.2 per cent), Denmark (10.5 per cent) and Malta (10.8 per cent), and the highest in Greece (48.9 per cent in December 2015), Spain (45.3 per cent), Croatia (40.3 per cent in the fourth quarter 2015) and Italy (39.1 per cent).
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