The number of unemployed in the EU fell last year. The unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in December 2019 after 6.3 percent in the previous month, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said. That is 747,000 fewer unemployed and the lowest level since the monthly survey began in January 2000. As of the end of December 2019, around 15.5 million women and men were unemployed across Europe.
Unemployment has also continued to decline in the euro area. The unemployment rate in the 19 euro countries was 7.4 percent in December. This is the lowest level since May 2008.
The lowest unemployment rate according to EU criteria had Czech Republic with 2.0 percent. Germany and the Netherlands followed with 3.2 percent. Greece (16.6 percent according to October data) and Spain (13.7 percent) continued to have the highest unemployment rates.
Unemployment fell in 21 of the 28 Member States, according to Eurostat data. In contrast, there were increases in Cyprus, Slovenia, Lithuania, Portugal, Luxembourg and Sweden. The situation in Denmark remained unchanged.
Unemployment in the euro area from 19 countries was higher than the EU average. For the monetary union, the European statisticians determined an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent after 7.5 percent in November. Over the year as a whole, the number of unemployed men and women in the euro area fell by 592,000. The number of unemployed was just under 12.3 million at the end of the year.