EU Unemployment Rates, August 2019

Oct 4, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU state as of August 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  Czechia continues to be the only state with an unemployment rate below three percent.


  • The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Czechia, and the state with the highest, Greece, is 15.00 percentage points (same as 15.00 last month and down from 16.90 last year).  Czechia and Greece had the lowest and highest rates respectively both last month and last year.
  • Greece has 8.50 times the unemployment rate that Czechia does.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 8.14 last month and up from 8.35 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.40 (same as 5.40 the previous month and down from 5.65 last year) and the mean 5.93 (down from 5.97 the previous month and down from 6.45 last year).
  • Nine states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 13 saw an improvement, and six states saw their rate increase.
  • One state did not see a change in its unemployment rate from last year, 24 saw an improvement, and three states saw their rate increase.


  • Data is from August 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from July 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from June 2019 (previous month and year rates also reflect the respective one and two month delay).
  • Data may conflict with previous month's report as statistical agencies make updates to the rates over the course of the month.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.


In absolute terms, Estonia had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.4 percentage points.  Sweden had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.2 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.2 percentage point drop while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 1.0 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.

In relative terms, Estonia had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 8.70% drop in its rate while Lithuania had the biggest deterioration with a 3.12% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Bulgaria had the greatest improvement with a 23.08% drop in its rate while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 15.62% rise in its rate.

Eight EU states have an unemployment rate below four percent (same as eight last month, up from seven last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Sixteen have a rate between four and eight percent (same as 16 last month, up from 15 last year), and four have a rate above eight percent (same as four last month, down from six last year).

Estonia bested two states (from 12th lowest unemployment rate to 10th lowest) over the course of the month while Malta (from 4th to 3rd), Hungary (from 6th to 5th), Romania (from 8th to 7th), Slovakia (from 16th to 15th), Latvia (from 20th to 19th), and Cyprus (from 22nd to 21st) each bested one.  On the flip side, the Netherlands (from 4th to 6th) and Lithuania (from 18th to 20th) were each bested by two states while Austria (from 4th to 6th) and Croatia (from 22nd to 23rd) were each bested by one.  Year-over-year, Bulgaria (from 12th to 9th), Slovakia (from 18th to 15th), and Cyprus (from 24th to 21st) surpassed three states.  Poland (from 5th to 3rd), Slovenia (from 12th to 10th), Portugal (from 18th to 15th), and Latvia (from 21st to 19th) surpassed two.  Romania (from 8th to 7th), Estonia (from 11th to 10th), and Finland (from 22nd to 21rd) overcame one.  Conversely, Sweden (from 19th to 24th) was bested by five states.  Denmark (from 9th to 13th) was bested by four.  Austria (from 9th to 12th) and Lithuania (from 17th to 20th) were each bested by three states; Luxembourg (from 15th to 17th) was bested by two; and Hungary (from 4th to 5th) and the United Kingdom (from 6th to 7th) were each bested by one.


StateLast YearPrevious RateLatest Rate
United Kingdom3.93.83.8


Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed October 4, 2019.,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;S_ADJ,L,Z,0;AGE,L,Z,1;UNIT,L,Z,2;SEX,L,Z,3;INDICATORS,C,Z,4;&zSelection=DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624SEX,T;DS-055624AGE,TOTAL;DS-055624INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=UNIT_1_2_-1_2&rankName2=AGE_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&rankName4=SEX_1_2_-1_2&rankName5=S-ADJ_1_2_-1_2&rankName6=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName7=GEO_1_2_0_1&sortC=ASC_-1_FIRST&rStp=&cStp=&rDCh=&cDCh=&rDM=true&cDM=true&footnes=false&empty=false&wai=false&time_mode=NONE&time_most_recent=false&lang=EN&cfo=%23%23%23%2C%23%23%23.%23%23%23.

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