The Euro Area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in May 2019 from 7.6 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 7.6 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since July 2008 as the number of unemployed continued to decline.
Compared with April, the number of unemployed in the Euro Area decreased by 103,000 to 12.348 million. Compared with the previous year, it fell by 1.133 million.
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Considering the European Union as a whole, the unemployment rate edged down to 6.3 percent in May from 6.4 percent in previous month and from 6.9 percent a year ago. That was the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. There were 15.653 million people unemployed, a decrease of 71,000 from the previous month and of 1.277 million from May 2018.
Among EU Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in May were recorded in Czechia (2.2 percent), Germany (3.1 percent) and the Netherlands (3.3 percent). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (18.1 percent in March 2019), Spain (13.6 percent) and Italy (9.9 percent). Compared with a year ago, the largest decreases were registered in Greece (18.1 percent from 20.2 percent between March 2019 and March 2018), Spain (13.6 percent from 15.4 percent) and Cyprus (6.5 percent from 8.3 percent).
The youth unemployment rate was 14.3 percent in the EU28 and 15.7 percent in the Euro Area, compared with 15.1 percent and 17.0 percent respectively in May 2018. The lowest rates were observed in Germany (5.1 percent) and the Netherlands (6.3 percent), while the highest were recorded in Greece (40.4 percent in March 2019), Spain (31.7 percent) and Italy (30.5 percent).