Five million young people unemployed in the EU27 in the first quarter 2009
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After three years of decline, the EU unemployment rate started to rise in the first quarter of 2008 in the wake of the economic crisis. Since then the unemployment rate, especially for young people, has increased sharply in the EU.

In the first quarter of 2009, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the EU27 for those aged 15-24 was 18.3%, significantly higher than the total unemployment rate of 8.2%. In the EU27, 5.0 million young people were unemployed. In the euro area (EA16), the youth unemployment rate was 18.4% and the total unemployment rate was 8.8%. In the euro area, 3.1 million young people were unemployed.

Youth unemployment rate rising faster than total unemployment rate

Between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, the youth unemployment rate in the EU27 rose by 3.7 percentage points, while the total unemployment rate increased by 1.5 percentage points. The youth unemployment rate increased in all Member States except Bulgaria, where it fell from 13.9% in the first quarter of 2008 to 13.5% in the first quarter of 2009. The largest rises in the youth unemployment rate were registered in Latvia (from 11.0% to 28.2%), Estonia (from 7.6% to 24.1%) and Lithuania (from 9.5% to 23.6%), and the smallest rises were found in Germany (from 10.2% to 10.5%) and Poland (from 17.8% to 18.2%).

These data (1), published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, come from a publication (2) issued today on the impact of the economic crisis on EU unemployment.


Youth unemployment rate higher than total rate in all Member States

All Member States recorded a higher youth unemployment rate than total unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2009. Youth unemployment rates ranged from 6.0% in the Netherlands to 33.6% in Spain, while total unemployment rates varied from 2.9% in the Netherlands to 16.5% in Spain. The largest differences were found in Italy (24.9% for the youth unemployment rate and 7.4% for the total unemployment rate), Spain (33.6% and 16.5%) and Sweden (24.2% and 7.7%), while the smallest differences were registered in Germany (10.5% and 7.4%), the Netherlands (6.0% and 2.9%) and Denmark (8.9% and 4.7%).


Young men affected more by rising unemployment than young women

The unemployment rates for young men and women were virtually equal in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2008 (14.7% for young women compared with 14.6% for young men). But in the first quarter of 2009, the unemployment rate had risen to 19.1% for young men compared with 17.4% for young women. Hence, in the EU27 as a whole, and in most Member States, the rise in unemployment has affected young men more than young women. In the first quarter of 2009, the unemployment rate for young men was higher than that for young women in 16 out of 27 Member States. In the first quarter of 2008, this was the case in 11 Member States.


Source >  Eurostat | Jul 23

1) In this news release quarterly seasonally adjusted data for unemployment and unemployment rates have been used. Monthly series with data up until May 2009 are available for these indicators but the quarterly series provide a more complete set of Member States' data when broken down by age and sex. 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). 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.
2) Eurostat, Statistics in Focus, 53/2009 "Sharp increase in unemployment in Europe", available free of charge in pdf format on the Eurostat web site.

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