EU Unemployment Rates, October 2019

Dec 12, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU state as of October 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 14.50 percentage points (down from 14.80 last month and down from 16.80 last year).  Czechia and Greece had the lowest and highest rates respectively both last month and last year.
  • Greece has 7.59 times the unemployment rate that Czechia does.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 8.05 last month and down from 9.00 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.35 (same as 5.35 the previous month and down from 5.70 last year) and the mean 5.92 (down from 5.93 the previous month and down from 6.35 last year).
  • Fifteen states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, seven saw an improvement, and six states saw their rate increase.
  • Zero states saw no change in their unemployment rate from last year, 24 saw an improvement, and four states saw their rate increase.


  • Data is from October 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from September 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from August 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, Greece, Italy, and Lithuania had the greatest improvement over the previous month each dropping 0.2 percentage points.  Estonia had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.4 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.2 percentage point drop while Denmark had the greatest deterioration with a 0.4 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.

In relative terms, Lithuania had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 3.03% drop in its rate while Estonia had the biggest deterioration with a 10.26% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Estonia had the greatest improvement with a 24.56% drop in its rate while Denmark had the greatest deterioration with a 8.16% rise in its rate.

Seven EU states have an unemployment rate below four percent (down from eight last month, up from six last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Seventeen have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 16 last month, down from 18 last year), and four have a rate above eight percent (same as four last month, same as four last year).

The Netherlands (from 6th lowest unemployment rate to 5th lowest), Romania (from 9th to 8th), Slovenia (from 11th to 10th), Lithuania (from 20th to 19th), and Croatia (from 22nd to 21st) each bested one state over the course of the month.  On the flip side, Estonia (from 8th to 10th) was bested by two states while Hungary (from 4th to 5th), Portugal (from 19th to 20th), Sweden (from 20th to 21st), and Finland (from 22nd to 23rd) were each bested by one.  Year-over-year, Estonia (from 14th to 10th) surpassed four states, Poland (from 6th to 3rd), Latvia (from 21st to 18th), and Croatia (from 24th to 21st) each surpassed three.  Bulgaria (from 11th to 9th) and Slovakia (from 18th to 16th) each surpassed two.  Ireland (from 14th to 13th) overcame one.  Conversely, Denmark (from 11th to 14th) was bested by three states.  Austria (from 10th to 12th), Luxembourg (from 13th to 15th), Lithuania (from 17th to 19th), Sweden (from 19th to 21st), and Finland (from 21st to 23rd) were each bested by two states; and Malta (from 3rd to 4th), Hungary (from 4th to 5th), the Netherlands (from 4th to 5th), Slovenia (from 9th to 10th), and Cyprus (from 23rd to 24th) were each bested by one.


StateLast YearPrevious RateLatest Rate
United Kingdom43.83.8


Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed December 12, 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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