Compared with November, the number of unemployed in the Euro Area decreased by 134,000 to 14.137 million. Compared with the previous year, it fell by 1.536 million.
Considering the European Union, the unemployment rate stood at 7.3 percent, the same as in November and the lowest since October of 2008. There were 17.961 million unemployed persons, down by 165 thousand from November and 2.066 million from December 2016.
Among EU Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.3 percent), Malta and Germany (both 3.6 percent) and the highest in Greece (20.7 percent in October 2017) and Spain (16.4 percent). Compared with a year ago, the largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 23.3 percent to 20.7 percent between October 2016 and October 2017), Croatia (from 12.5 percent to 10.0 percent), Portugal (from 10.2 percent to 7.8 percent) and Spain (from 18.5 percent to 16.4 percent).
The youth unemployment rate was 16.1 percent in the EU28 and 17.9 percent in the euro area, compared with 18 percent and 20.3 percent respectively in December 2016. 3.654 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.574 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2016, youth unemployment decreased by 411 000 in the EU28 and by 301 000 in the euro area.