The FINANCIAL -- The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7% in December 2017, stable compared to November 2017 and down from 9.7% in December 2016.
This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since January 2009. The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.3% in December 2017, stable compared to November 2017 and down from 8.2% in December 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since October 2008. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Eurostat estimates that 17.961 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 14.137 million in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2017. Compared with November 2017, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 165 000 in the EU28 and by 134 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2016, unemployment fell by 2.066 million in the EU28 and by 1.536 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.3%), Malta and Germany (both 3.6%). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (20.7% in October 2017) and Spain (16.4%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all Member States for which data is comparable over time except in Finland where it remained stable. The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 23.3% to 20.7% between October 2016 and October 2017), Croatia (from 12.5% to 10.0%), Portugal (from 10.2% to 7.8%) and Spain (from 18.5% to 16.4%).
In December 2017, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.1%, stable compared to November 2017 and down from 4.7% in December 2016.
In December 2017, 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. In December 2017, the youth unemployment rate was 16.1% in the EU28 and 17.9% in the euro area, compared with 18.0% and 20.3% respectively in December 2016. In December 2017, the lowest rates were observed in the Czech Republic (4.9%), Germany (6.6%) and Estonia (6.8% in November 2017), while the highest were recorded in Greece (40.8% in October 2017), Spain (36.8%) and Italy (32.2%).