EU Unemployment Rates, September 2019

Nov 6, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU state as of September 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 14.80 percentage points (down from 15.10 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 8.05 times the unemployment rate that Czechia does.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 8.55 last month and down from 8.68 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.35 (up from 5.30 the previous month and down from 5.55 last year) and the mean 5.94 (down from 5.95 the previous month and down from 6.39 last year).
  • Eleven states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, nine saw an improvement, and eight states saw their rate increase.
  • Three states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, 22 saw an improvement, and three states saw their rate increase.


  • Data is from September 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from August 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from July 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 and Luxembourg had the greatest improvement over the previous month each dropping 0.3 percentage points.  Italy had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.3 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 7.14% drop in its rate while Czechia had the biggest deterioration with a 5.00% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Estonia had the greatest improvement with a 26.42% drop in its rate while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 15.62% rise in its rate.

Nine EU states have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from eight last month, up from seven last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Fifteen have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 16 last month, down from 17 last year), and four have a rate above eight percent (same as four last month, same as four last year).

Estonia (from 10th lowest unemployment rate to 8th lowest), Luxembourg (from 17th to 15th), and Cyprus (from 22nd to 20th) each bested two states over the course of the month while Lithuania (from 20th to 19th) bested one.  On the flip side, Portugal (from 18th to 20th) was bested by two states while Romania (from 7th to 8th), Bulgaria (from 9th to 10th), Slovenia (from 10th to 11th), Belgium (from 15th to 16th), and Finland (from 21st to 22nd) were each bested by one.  Year-over-year, Estonia (from 13th to 8th) surpassed five states, Cyprus (from 24th to 20th) surpassed four, Ireland (from 16th to 13th) and Latvia (from 21st to 18th) each surpassed three.  Poland (from 5th to 3rd) and Bulgaria (from 12th to 10th) each surpassed two.  Hungary (from 5th to 4th), the United Kingdom (from 8th to 7th), and Slovakia (from 17th to 16th) overcame one.  Conversely, Sweden (from 19th to 24th) was bested by five states.  Austria (from 9th to 12th) and Denmark (from 11th to 14th) were each bested by three states; the Netherlands (from 4th to 6th), Slovenia (from 9th to 11th), and Lithuania (from 17th to 19th) were each bested by two; and Malta (from 3rd to 4th), Romania (from 7th to 8th), Luxembourg (from 14th to 15th), and Belgium (from 15th to 16th) were each bested by one.


StateLast YearPrevious RateLatest Rate
United Kingdom43.83.8


Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed November 6, 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-055624SEX,T;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;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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