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News : European Last Updated: Dec 19th, 2007 - 13:17:15

Eurozone unemployment fell to 7.3% in February; Lowest rates were in Denmark and the Netherlands
By Finfacts Team
Mar 30, 2007, 15:28

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The European Union's logo in the Irish language, to mark the golden jubilee of the signing of the Treaty of Rome
(EA13)1 seasonally-adjusted unemployment2 stood at 7.3% in February 2007, compared with 7.4% in January3. It was 8.2% in February 2006. The EU271 unemployment rate was 7.4% in February 2007, compared with 7.5% in January3. It was 8.2% in February 2006.

In February 2007, the lowest rates were registered in Denmark (3.4%) and the Netherlands (3.5%). Unemployment rates were highest in Poland (11.8%) and Slovakia (11.0%).

These figures come from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.

Twenty one Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over a year, two remained stable and four reported an increase. The largest relative falls were observed in Slovenia (6.5% to 4.7%), Slovakia (14.4% to 11.0%) and Poland (15.1% to 11.8%). The highest relative increase was registered in Hungary (7.4% to 7.9%).

The unemployment rate for males fell from 7.0% to 6.2% between February 2006 and February 2007 in the Eurozone and from 7.4% to 6.5% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate declined from 9.7% to 8.9% in the Eurozone and from 9.2% to 8.4% in the EU27.

In February 2007, the unemployment rate for under-25s was 16.4% in the Eurozone and 16.9% in the EU27. In February 2006 it was 17.4% and 18.1% respectively. The lowest rates for under-25s were observed in Denmark and the Netherlands (both 6.7%); the highest in Poland (25.5%), Greece (25.5% in the fourth quarter 2006), and Romania (23.6%).

Eurostat estimates that 17.2 million men and women in the EU27, of which 11.0 million were in the Eurozone, were unemployed in February 2007. In February 2006, 19.1 million men and women in the EU27, of which 12.2 million were in the Eurozone, were unemployed.

The US unemployment rate was 4.5% in February 2007, and the Japanese rate was 4.0% in January 2007.

Unemployment (%) in February 2007 - in ascending order

Dec 06
2006 Q4
2006 Q4
  1. The Eurozone (EA12) consisted of 12 Member States up to 31 December 2006: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland. From 1 January 2007 the Eurozone (EA13) also includes Slovenia.

Up to 31 December 2006 the European Union (EU25) included: Belgium (BE), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK). From 1 January 2007 the European Union (EU27) also includes Bulgaria (BG) and Romania (RO).

News Releases with data for January 2007 onwards comment on EA13/EU27 series.

  1. Eurostat's unemployment rates

Eurostat calculates harmonised unemployment rates for Member States. These unemployment rates are based on definitions recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Harmonised means that the national micro data concerning the individuals and households are treated by Eurostat as to allow comparability between the Member States.

According to the Eurostat definition unemployed people are those aged 15 to 74 who, following the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition:

- are without work;

- are available to start work within the next two weeks;

- and have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.

The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force is the total number of people employed and unemployed.

The numbers of unemployed and the monthly unemployment rate are estimates based on results of the European Union Labour Force Survey which is a household survey carried out in all countries on the basis of agreed definitions. These results are interpolated/ extrapolated to monthly data using national survey data and national monthly series on registered unemployment. The most recent figures are therefore provisional; first results from the Labour Force Survey are available 90 days after the end of the reference period for most Member States.

Monthly unemployment and employment series are calculated first at the level of four categories for each Member State (males and females 15-24 years, males and females 25-74 years). These series are then seasonally adjusted and all the national and European aggregates are calculated. Before the aggregation, missing national data are estimated using the most recent trends of the series.

Registered unemployed data are national administrative data compiled on a purely national basis and for national purposes. There are no European-wide rules on definition and coverage. Therefore the ensuing unemployment rates cannot be compared from one country to another. National legislation on the definition of unemployment and therefore its calculation can change in individual states. The conditions to receive unemployment benefits and assistance vary from one country to another. This affects the willingness of people to register themselves and, hence, the published unemployment rates.

Member States may also publish other rates than register based unemployment rates, for example based on national Labour Force Surveys or corresponding surveys. Although still internationally comparable, these rates may vary to a minor extent from those published by Eurostat due to different methodological choices.

Current deviations from definition of unemployment in the EU Labour Force Survey

Spain, United Kingdom: Unemployment is restricted to persons aged 16-74. In Spain the legal age limit for working is 16.

Netherlands: Persons without a job, who are available for work and looking for a job are only included in unemployment if they express that they would like to work.

  1. The January 2007 unemployment rates published remain unchanged. As a regular update of the calculation process, the most recent EU Labour Force Survey data have been included for several Member States. This has caused revisions in the monthly unemployment rates of more than 0.1 percentage points for Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
  2. Provisional data based on the German statistical office's telephone survey. European aggregates have been compiled using smoothed German seasonally adjusted data from 2003 onwards.
  3. Quarterly data.
  4. Provisional data: the Swedish Labour Force Survey was amended in April 2005 to take further account of the EU harmonised methodology. This break in the series may affect the reliability of the seasonal adjustment.
  5. Estimates for France are based on results of the Labour Force Survey that are provisional and may be subject to revision later this year.

© Copyright 2007 by Finfacts.com

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