The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU state as of December 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 14.60 percentage points (down from 14.70 last month and down from 16.40 last year). Czechia and Greece had the lowest and highest rates respectively both last month and last year.
- Greece has 8.30 times the unemployment rate that Czechia does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 8.00 last month and down from 8.81 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.20 (down from 5.20 the previous month and down from 5.35 last year) and the mean 5.89 (down from 5.94 the previous month and down from 6.19 last year).
- Eight states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 13 saw an improvement, and seven states saw their rate increase.
- Two states saw no change in their unemployment rate from last year, 21 saw an improvement, and five states saw their rate increase.
- Data is from December 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from November 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from October 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, Sweden had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.7 percentage points. Latvia had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.4 percentage points. Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 1.9 percentage point drop while Luxembourg had the greatest deterioration with a 0.4 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Sweden had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 9.59% drop in its rate while Latvia had the biggest deterioration with a 6.35% rise in its rate. Year over year, Bulgaria had the greatest improvement with a 21.28% drop in its rate while Luxembourg had the greatest deterioration with a 7.69% 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, down from five last year).
Sweden (from 23rd lowest unemployment rate to 20th lowest) bested three states over the course of the month. On the flip side, Latvia (from 18th to 22nd) was bested by four states. Year-over-year, Bulgaria (from 11th to 7th) and Croatia (from 23rd to 19th) surpassed four states each. Conversely, Portugal (from 19th to 23rd) was bested by four states.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Eurostat. 2020. "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average." Accessed February 7, 2020. https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_1045B87B_UID_-3F171EB0&layout=TIME,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.