Greece leading rise in eurozone unemployment, Eurostat’s April figures show

Greece had the highest unemployment in the European Union and had the largest rise in the jobless rate across the 27-nation bloc in the preceding year, according to April figures published by Eurostat on Friday.

Although the Greek figures used were for February, Greece had the highest unemployment rate with 27, followed by Spain on 26.8 percent and Portugal 17.8 percent.

The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9 percent), Germany (5.4 percent) and Luxembourg (5.6 percent).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in eighteen member states and fell in nine, Eurostat said.

The highest increases were registered in Greece (21.9 percent to 27.0 percent between February 2012 and February 2013), Cyprus (11.2 percent to 15.6 percent), Spain (24.4 percent to 26.8 percent) and Portugal (15.4 percent to 17.8 percent).

The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.5 percent to 12.4 percent between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013), Estonia (10.6 percent to 8.7 percent between March 2012 and March 2013) and Ireland (14.9 percent to 13.5 percent).

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2 percent in April 2013, up from 12.1% in March. The EU27 unemployment rate was 11.0%, unchanged compared with the previous month.

Eurostat estimates that 26.5 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 19.375 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2013.

Compared with March 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 104 000 in the EU27 and by 95 000 in the euro area. Compared with April 2012, unemployment rose by 1.673 million in the EU27 and by 1.644 million in the euro area.