Eurostat Report on Unemployment Rate in Europe

Unemployment in the EU: At the end of May 2018, Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union) released a report on the unemployment rate in the European Union. On average, 7% of the EU population is jobless (8.4% in the European area), but behind this figure are huge disparities between countries.

An unemployed person is defined by Eurostat, according to the guidelines of the International Labor Organization, as someone aged 15 to 74 without work during the week who is available to start work within the next two weeks and who has actively sought employment at some time during the last four weeks.

According to Eurostat, at the top of the list of countries with a low unemployment rate, is the Czech Republic in which only 2.3% of the population is facing this issue. Next, in Germany, the first economic power in Europe, 3.4% of people are jobless. The third best country in terms of employment rate is Hungary (3.7%), followed closely by Poland and Malta (3.8%), and The Netherlands (3.9%).

Eurostat figures point out that other European countries still have a better rate than average. That is the case for Austria and Romania (4.6%), Bulgaria, Estonia, Denmark, Luxemburg, Ireland and Slovenia. The United Kingdom (4.1%) is also mentioned despite the current Brexit negotiations.

Portugal can also be quoted. Still overcoming the economic crisis of a few years ago, the economy is now better with just a 6.7% unemployment rate.

Six countries of the 28 are facing a high unemployment rate of over 8%: Cyprus (8.4%), Croatia (8.4%), France (9.2%), Italy (10.7%), Spain (15.8%) and Greece (20.1%).

Unemployment in the Eastern Partnership (EaP): It can be quite hard to find relevant statistics about unemployed people in the EaP. But according to the ILO definition, the best countries are Moldova (4.5%) and Azerbaijan (5%), followed by Ukraine (9.4%) and Georgia (11.5%) and Armenia (18.5%).

There are no official statistics of unemployment using the ILO methods in Belarus. According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate is around 0.5%. But in Belarus, people who declare themselves jobless have to work on social services of general interest. That is why the opposition estimates the unemployment rate to be between 15 and 25%.

A high employment rate does not necessarily mean that the quality of life is better there.

By Antoine Dewaest

Photo: Nick Youngson-Alpha Stock Images

31 July 2018 13:25