Eurostat: unemployment in the EU at lowest rate since year 2000
According to figures published today by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the unemployment rate in the 28 EU Member States was 6.2% in December 2019, continuing the steady decline in the previous months. It marks the lowest rate since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. The euro area unemployment rate was 7.4%. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2008. Compared with the situation one year earlier, unemployment fell by 747,000 in the EU28 and by 592,000 in the euro area. The Member States with the lowest unemployment rates in December 2019 were recorded in Czechia (2.0%) as well as in Germany and the Netherlands (both 3.2%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (16.6% in October 2019) and Spain (13.7%). Youth unemployment in the EU decreased to 14.1% in December 2019 down from 14.6% in December 2018, and to 15.3% in the euro area in December 2019 down from 16.2% in December 2018. Tackling unemployment and boosting jobs remains a priority of the new Commission. For this reason, the Commission presented on 14 January its first reflections on how EU social policy can help deliver on the challenges and opportunities of today, proposing action at EU level for the months to come, and seeking feedback on further action at all levels in the area of employment and social rights.