EU Economy
Eurozone unemployment slightly falls; Germany & Austria below 5%
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Mar 2, 2015 - 2:40 PM

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The Eurozone (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.2% in January 2015, down from 11.3% in December 2014 , and from 11.8% in January 2014. This is the lowest rate recorded in the Eurozone since April 2012. The rates of Germany and Austria are below 5% — in effect full employment.

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The EU281 unemployment rate was 9.8% in January 2015, down from 9.9% in December 2014 and from 10.6% in January 2014. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 23.81m men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.06m were in the Eurozone, were unemployed in January 2015. Compared with December 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 156,000 in the EU28 and by 140,000 in the Eurozone.

Compared with January 2014, unemployment fell by 1.82m in the EU28 and by 896,000 in the Eurozone.

Member countries: Among the member countries, the lowest unemployment rates in January 2015 were recorded in Germany (4.7%) and Austria (4.8%), and the highest in Greece (25.8% in November 2014) and Spain (23.4%).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in January 2015 fell in twenty-four member countries, remained stable in Belgium and increased in Cyprus (15.7% to 16.1%), Finland (8.4% to 8.8%) and France (10.1% to 10.2%).

The largest decreases were registered in Spain (25.5% to 23.4%), Estonia (8.5% to 6.4% between December 2013 and December 2014), and Ireland (12.1% to 10.0%). In January 2015, the unemployment rate in the United States was 5.7%, up from 5.6% in December 2014, but down from 6.6% in January 2014.

Youth unemployment: In January 2015, 4.89m young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.28m were in the Eurozone. Compared with January 2014, youth unemployment decreased by 562,000 in the EU28 and by 259,000 in the Eurozone.

In January 2015, the youth unemployment rate was 21.2% in the EU28 and 22.9% in the Eurozone, compared with 23.3% and 24.3% respectively in January 2014. In January 2015, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.1%), Austria (8.2%) and Denmark (10.8%), and the highest in Spain (50.9%), Greece (50.6% in November 2014), Croatia (44.1% in the fourth quarter 2014) and Italy (41.2%).

Youth in education are not included in calculating the rate — so these rates are not related to the full age cohort.

The Eurozone (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. The EU28 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Croatia (HR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK). The tables also include Iceland, Norway and the United States.

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