The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.1% in May 2012, compared with 11.0% in April. It was 10.0% in May 2011. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.3% in May 2012, compared with 10.2% in April. It was 9.5% in May 2011.
Eurostat estimates that 24.868 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17.561 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2012. Compared with April 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by
151,000 in the EU27 and by 88,000 in the euro area. Compared with May 2011, unemployment rose by 1.952 million in the EU27 and by 1.820 million in the euro area.
These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.1%), the Netherlands (5.1%), Luxembourg (5.4%) and Germany (5.6%), and the highest in Spain (24.6%) and Greece (21.9% in March 2012).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in eight member states, increased in eighteen, and remained stable in Hungary. The largest falls were observed in Estonia (13.6% to 10.9% between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012), Lithuania (15.7% to 13.7%) and Latvia (17.1% to 15.3% between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012). The highest increases were registered in Greece (15.7% to 21.9% between March 2011 and March 2012), Spain (20.9% to 24.6%) and Cyprus (7.5% to 10.8%).
Between May 2011 and May 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 9.8% to 10.9% in the euro area and from 9.5% to 10.3% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.3% to 11.3% in the euro area and from 9.6% to 10.4% in the EU27.
In May 2012, 5.517 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.412 million were in the euro area. Compared with May 2011, youth unemployment rose by 282,000 in the EU27 and by 254,000 in the euro area. In May 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 22.7% in the EU27 and 22.6% in the euro area. In May 2011 it was 21.0% and 20.5% respectively. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.9%), Austria (8.3%) and the Netherlands (9.2%), and the highest in Greece (52.1% in March 2012) and Spain (52.1%).
In May 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.2% in the USA and it was 4.4% in Japan.