The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.6% in December 2016, down from 9.7% in November 2016 and down from 10.5% in December 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2009. The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.2% in December 2016, stable compared to November 2016 and down from 9.0% in December 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since February 2009. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 20.065 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 15.571 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2016. Compared with November 2016, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 159 000 in the EU28 and by 121 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2015, unemployment fell by 1.839 million in the EU28 and by 1.256 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2016 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.5%) and Germany (3.9%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.0% in October 2016) and Spain (18.4%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in December 2016 fell in twenty-four Member States, while it increased in Cyprus (from 13.1% to 14.3%), Italy (from 11.6% to 12.0%), Estonia (from 6.6% to 6.7% between November 2015 and November 2016) and Denmark (from 6.1% to 6.2%). The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (from 15.0% to 11.4%), Spain (from 20.7% to 18.4%) and Portugal (from 12.2% to 10.2%).
In December 2016, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.7%, up from 4.6% in November 2016 but down from 5.0% in December 2015.