Eurostat estimates that 25.926 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.715 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2012. Compared with November 2012, the number of persons unemployed was nearly stable in both the EU27 and the euro area. Compared with December 2011, unemployment rose by 1.763 million in the EU27 and by 1.796 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.3%), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.3%) and the Netherlands (5.8%), and the highest in Greece (26.8% in October 2012) and Spain (26.1%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in twenty Member States and fell in seven. The largest decreases were observed in Estonia (12.1% to 9.9% between November 2011 and November 2012), Latvia (15.7% to 14.1% between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012) and Lithuania (13.7% to 12.3%). The highest increases were registered in Greece (19.7% to 26.8% between October 2011 and October 2012), Cyprus (9.7% to 14.7%) and Spain (23.2% to 26.1%).
Between December 2011 and December 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 10.5% to 11.6% in the euro area and from 10.0% to 10.7% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.9% to 11.8% in the euro area and from 10.1% to 10.7% in the EU27.
In December 2012, 5.702 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.624 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2011, youth unemployment rose by 237 000 in the EU27 and by 303 000 in the euro area. In December 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 23.4% in the EU27 and 24.0% in the euro area, compared with 22.2% and 21.7% respectively in December 2011. In December 2012 the lowest rates were observed in Germany (8.0%), Austria (8.5%) and the Netherlands (10.0%), and the highest in Greece (57.6% in October 2012) and Spain (55.6%).
In December 2012, the unemployment rate in the USA was 7.8%. In Japan it was 4.1% in November 2012.