The Eurozone1 (EA15) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate2 stood at 7.3% in July 2008, unchanged compared with June. It was 7.4% in July 2007. The EU271 unemployment rate was 6.8% in July 2008, unchanged compared with June3. It was 7.1% in July 2007.
Eurostat estimates that 16.292 million men and women in the EU27, of which 11.372 million in the Eurozone, were unemployed in July 2008. Compared with June 2008, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 73 000 in the EU27 and increased by 25 000 in the Eurozone. Compared with July 2007, unemployment fell by 563 000 in the EU27 and rose by 59 000 in the Eurozone.
These figures are published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were registered in Denmark (2.3%) and the Netherlands (2.6%), and the highest in Spain (11.0%) and Slovakia (10.3%).
Compared with a year ago, twenty Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate, six an increase and in one the rate remained stable.The largest falls were observed in Poland (9.5% to 6.8%) and Denmark (4.1% to 2.3%), and the highest increases in Spain (8.2% to 11.0%) and Ireland (4.6% to 5.9%).
The unemployment rate for males increased from 6.6% to 6.7% between July 2007 and July 2008 in the Eurozone and fell from 6.6% to 6.4% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate declined from 8.4% to 8.1% in the Eurozone and from 7.7% to 7.2% in the EU27.
In July 2008, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 14.7% in the Eurozone and 14.6% in the EU27. In July 2007 it was 14.6% and 15.3% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in the Netherlands (4.5%) and in Denmark (4.9%), and the highest in Spain (24.8%) and Greece (22.7% in the first quarter 2008).
The Eurozone (EA15) consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland.
The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), 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).
Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the Eurozone and the EU. These unemployment rates are based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The measurement is based on a harmonised source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Based on the ILO definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who:
- 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.
2. 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 rates are estimates based on results of the LFS which is a continuous 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/or 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. Technical details on the calculations for each Member State can be found on the Eurostat internet site under Data / Population and social conditions / Labour market / Employment and unemployment / LFS main indicators, together with more detailed tables.
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.
Member States may publish other rates such as register based unemployment rates, or rates based on national Labour Force Surveys or corresponding surveys. These rates may vary from those published by Eurostat due to different definition or methodological choices.
Current deviations from the definition of unemployment in the EU Labour Force Survey:
Spain, Italy, United Kingdom: Unemployment is restricted to persons aged 16-74. In Spain and Italy 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.