The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in December 2016, stable compared to November 2016 and down from 9 percent in December 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since February 2009.
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 percent) and Germany (3.9 percent). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.0 percent in October 2016) and Spain (18.4 percent).
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 percent to 14.3 percent), Italy (from 11.6 percent to 12.0 percent), Estonia (from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent between November 2015 and November 2016) and Denmark (from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent). The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (from 15.0 percent to 11.4 percent), Spain (from 20.7 percent to 18.4 percent) and Portugal (from 12.2 percent to 10.2 percent).