Greece leading EU unemployment, Eurostat figures show

Greece had the highest rate of unemployment in the European Union with 27.6 percent in May, according to data released on Friday by the EU’s statistical authority Eurostat, confirming data compiled by the national statistics agency ELSTAT, and adding that youth unemployment was also at a record high in May of 62.9 percent.

The second-largest number of jobless people in the EU in May was recorded in Spain (26.3 percent), which also has a youth unemployment rate of 56.1 percent, Eurostat said.

In July, the euro area’s seasonally-adjusted total unemployment rate was 12.1 percent, at similar levels to June, while the EU28 rate was 11 percent, also unchanged from June. Both figures, however, showed a rise compared to July 2012, when the unemployment rate in the euro area stood at 11.5 percent and in the 28-member EU at 10.5 percent.

Eurostat’s figures show that 26.654 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 19.231 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in July. Compared with the same month last year, numbers rose by 995,000 in the EU28 and by 1.008 million in the euro area.

The lowest unemployment rates in the EU were recorded in Austria (4.8 percent), Germany (5.3 percent) and Luxembourg (5.7 percent).

Seventeen EU member states saw their jobless rate decline this July compared to last year and 11 saw it rise, with the biggest spikes recorded in Cyprus (12.2 percent to 17.3 percent) and Greece (23.8 percent to 27.6 percent between May 2012 and May 2013).

In the category of young people aged under 25, 5.56 million were unemployed in the European Union and 3.5 million in the euro area, or 23.4 percent in the EU28 and 24 percent in the eurozone.