The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, down from 9 percent in December and reaching the lowest since May of 2009. Among member states, the lowest unemployment rate was recorded for Germany (4.3 percent), the Czech Republic (4.5 percent) and Malta (5.1 percent) while the highest were observed in Greece (24.6 percent in November) and Spain (20.5 percent).
16.647 million people were unemployed in the Euro Area and 21.789 million in the EU 28, down by 105 thousand and 163 thousand respectively from last year. Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in twenty-four member states, remained stable in Estonia and increased in Latvia (from 9.7 percent to 10.4 percent), Austria (from 5.5 percent to 5.9 percent) and Finland (from 9.1 percent to 9.4 percent). The largest decreases were registered in Spain (from 23.4 percent to 20.5 percent), Slovakia (from 12.3 percent to 10.3 percent), Ireland (from 10.1 percent to 8.6 percent) and Portugal (from 13.7 percent to 12.2 percent).
4.434 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.037 million were in the euro area. Compared with January 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 408 000 in the EU28 and by 217 000 in the euro area, bringing youth unemployment rate to 19.7 percent in the EU28 and 22.0 percent in the euro area. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.1 percent), the Czech Republic (11.0 percent), Denmark (11.1 percent) and the Netherlands (11.2 percent) and the highest in Greece (48.0 percent in November 2015), Spain (45.0 percent), Croatia (44.1 percent in the fourth quarter 2015) and Italy (39.3 percent).