The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9% in November 2018, down from 8.0% in October 2018 and from 8.7% in November 2017. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since October 2008. The EU28 unemployment rate was 6.7% in November 2018, stable compared with October 2018 and down from 7.3% in November 2017. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 16.491 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 13.040 million in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2018. Compared with October 2018, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 107 000 in the EU28 and by 90 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2017, unemployment fell by 1.489 million in the EU28 and by 1.135 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in November 2018 were recorded in Czechia (1.9%), Germany (3.3%) and the Netherlands (3.5%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (18.6% in September 2018) and Spain (14.7%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all Member States except Estonia where it remained stable. The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (from 10.0% to 7.8%), Greece (from 20.8% to 18.6% between September 2017 and September 2018) and Spain (from 16.5% to 14.7%).
In November 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.7%, stable compared with October 2018 and down from 4.1% in November 2017.
In November 2018, 3.444 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.452 million were in the euro area. Compared with November 2017, youth unemployment decreased by 189 000 in the EU28 and by 90 000 in the euro area. In November 2018, the youth unemployment rate was 15.2% in the EU28 and 16.9% in the euro area, compared with 16.1% and 17.8% respectively in November 2017. In November 2018, the lowest rates were observed in Czechia (4.9%), Germany (6.1%) and the Netherlands (6.9%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (36.6% in September 2018), Spain (34.1%) and Italy (31.6%).
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definitions
Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the euro area and the EU. These unemployment rates are based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The measurement is based on a harmonised source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Based on the ILO definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who:
– are without work;
– are available to start work within the next two weeks;
– and have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.
The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.
The labour force is the total number of people employed plus unemployed. In this news release unemployment rates are based on employment and unemployment data covering persons aged 15 to 74.
The youth unemployment rate is the number of people aged 15 to 24 unemployed as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. Therefore, the youth unemployment rate should not be interpreted as the share of jobless people in the overall youth population.
When data for the most recent month are not available for a Member State, EU and EA aggregates are calculated using the latest data available for that Member State.
Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Iceland: the trend component is used instead of the more volatile seasonally adjusted data.
Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Norway: 3-month moving averages of LFS data are used instead of pure monthly indicators.
Revisions and timetable
The data in this News Release can be subject to revisions, caused by updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added; the inclusion of the most recent LFS data in the calculation process; update of seasonal adjustment models with complete annual data.
Compared with the rates published in News Release 184/2018 of 30 November 2018, the October 2018 unemployment rate for EA19 has been revised downwards from 8.1% to 8.0%, while the rate for EU28 remained unchanged. Among Member States, the rate has been revised by more than 0.1 percentage points (pp) downwards for Belgium (by 0.7 pp), Slovakia (by 0.5 pp) and Austria (by 0.3 pp). The unemployment rate has been revised by more than 0.1 percentage points upwards for Cyprus (by 0.3 pp) and Luxembourg (by 0.2 pp).