STAT/12/5. 6 January 2012. The euro area1 (EA17) seasonally-adjusted2 unemployment rate3 was 10.3% in November 2011, unchanged compared with October4. It was 10.0% in November 2010. The EU271 unemployment rate was 9.8% in November 2011, also unchanged compared with October4. It was 9.6% in November 2010.
Eurostat estimates that 23.674 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 16.372 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2011. Compared with October 2011, the number of persons unemployed increased by 55 000 in the EU27 and by 45 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2010, unemployment rose by 723 000 in the EU27 and by 587 000 in the euro area.
These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.0%), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (both 4.9%), and the highest in Spain (22.9%), Greece (18.8% in September 2011) and Lithuania (15.3% in the third quarter of 2011).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in fourteen Member States and rose in thirteen. The largest falls were observed in Estonia (16.1% to 11.3% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011), Latvia (18.2% to 14.8% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011) and Lithuania (18.3% to 15.3% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011). The highest increases were registered in Greece (13.3% to 18.8% between September 2010 and September 2011), Cyprus (6.0% to 9.1%) and Spain (20.4% to 22.9%).
Between November 2010 and November 2011, the unemployment rate for males increased from 9.8% to 10.0% in the euro area and from 9.5% to 9.7% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.3% to 10.7% in the euro area and from 9.7% to 10.0% in the EU27.
In November 2011, 5.579 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.394 million were in the euro area. Compared with November 2010, youth unemployment increased by 335 000 in the EU27 and by 207 000 in the euro area. In November 2011, the youth unemployment rate was 22.3% in the EU27 and 21.7% in the euro area. In November 2010 it was 21.0% and 20.6% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (8.1%), Austria (8.3%) and the Netherlands (8.6%), and the highest in Spain (49.6%), Greece (46.6% in September 2011) and Slovakia (35.1%).
In November 2011, the unemployment rate was 8.6% in the USA and 4.5% in Japan8.
The euro area (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia 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).
Non-seasonally adjusted and trend data can be found in the statistical database on the Eurostat website.
Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the euro area 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.
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 plus 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 Member States 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; 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.
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 a different definition or methodological choices.
Current deviations from the definition of unemployment in the EU Labour Force Survey:
Spain, Italy and United Kingdom: Unemployment is restricted to persons aged 16-74. In Spain and Italy the legal minimum age for working is 16. Employment data used for Italy includes also those above 74.
Compared with the rates published in News Release 176/2011 of 30 November 2011, the October 2011 unemployment rates for the EA17 and for the EU27 remain unchanged. Among Member States, the rate has been revised by between 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points for Ireland, Malta, Slovenia and Finland. The unemployment rate was revised downwards by 1.3 percentage points for Bulgaria. It was revised upwards by 1.0 percentage point for Hungary, by 0.7 percentage points for Belgium and by 0.6 percentage points for Cyprus. The revisions are primarily caused by the inclusion of the most recent EU Labour Force Survey data in the calculation process and updates to the seasonally adjusted series.
The following LFS data are used in the calculations of the monthly unemployment rates published in this News Release:
For Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania, Finland and Sweden monthly data up to and including November 2011.
For Greece monthly data up to and including September 2011.
For the United Kingdom monthly data up to and including August-September-October 2011 (3-month rolling average).
For Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, France, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia quarterly data up to and including Q3 2011.
Italy has implemented a method to produce monthly unemployment data purely based on the LFS. For the moment, these data should be considered provisional.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania: quarterly data for all series.
Cyprus, Romania and Slovenia: quarterly data for youth unemployment.
For Germany, Austria and Finland the trend component is used instead of the more volatile seasonally adjusted data.
Results for Japan including the three prefectures most affected by the earthquake are available again from September 2011. Figures from March 2011 to August 2011 exclude these three prefectures.x