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Euro area unemployment at 7.9%

The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9% in December 2018, stable compared with November 2018 and down from 8.6% in December 2017. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since October 2008.

Eurostat estimates that 16.306 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 12.919 million in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2018. Compared with November 2018, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 75 000 in both the EU28 and the euro area. Compared with December 2017, unemployment fell by 1.533 million in the EU28 and by 1.174 million in the euro area. Member States Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2018 were recorded in Czechia (2.1%), Germany (3.3%), Poland (3.5%) and the Netherlands (3.6%).

The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (18.6% in October 2018), Spain (14.3%) and Italy (10.3%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all Member States except France where it remained stable. The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 21.0% to 18.6% between October 2017 and October 2018), Spain (from 16.5% to 14.3%) and Croatia (from 9.7% to 7.7%). In December 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.9%, up from 3.7% in November 2018 and down from 4.1% in December 2017.

Youth unemployment In December 2018, 3.365 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.391 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2017, youth unemployment decreased by 249 000 in the EU28 and by 141 000 in the euro area. In December 2018, the youth unemployment rate was 14.9% in the EU28 and 16.6% in the euro area, compared with 16.1% and 17.8% respectively in December 2017. In December 2018, the lowest rates were observed in Czechia (5.8%), Germany (6.0%) and the Netherlands (6.6%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (38.5% in October 2018), Spain (32.7%) and Italy (31.9%).

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