The EU28 unemployment rate was 9 percent, stable compared to November 2015, and down from 9.9 percent in December 2014. This was the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since June 2009.
Eurostat estimates that 21.944 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.750 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2015. Compared with November 2015, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 52 000 in the EU28 and by 49 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2014, unemployment fell by 2.026 million in the EU28 and by 1.501 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic and Germany (both 4.5 percent), Malta and the United Kingdom (both 5.1 percent, October data for the UK). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (24.5 percent in October 2015) and Spain (20.8 percent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in twenty-three Member States, remained stable in Estonia and increased in four. The largest decreases were registered in Spain (20.8 percent from 23.6 percent), Slovakia (10.6 percent from 12.4 percent) and Portugal (11.8 percent from 13.6 percent). The increases were registered in Finland (9.5 percent from 9 percent), Austria (5.8 percent from 5.6 percent), Latvia (10.2 percent from 10.1 percent) and Romania (6.7 percent from 6.6 percent).
There were 4.454 million young persons (under 25) unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.057 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2014, youth unemployment decreased by 426 000 in the EU28 and by 229 000 in the euro area. The youth unemployment rate was 19.7% in the EU28 and 22.0% in the euro area, compared with 21.2% and 23.0% respectively in December 2014. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (7 percent), Denmark (10.3 percent) and the Czech Republic (10.9 percent), and the highest in Greece (48.6 percent in October 2015), Spain (46 percent), Croatia (44.1 percent in the fourth quarter 2015) and Italy (37.9 percent).