The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in December 2014, down from 11.5 percent in November 2014, and from 11.8 percent in December 2013. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since August 2012. The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in December 2014, down from 10 percent in November 2014 and from 10.6 percent in December 2013. This is the first time the rate for the EU28 has fallen below 10 percent since October 2011.
Eurostat estimates that 24.056 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.129 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2014. Compared with November 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 228,000 in the EU28 and by 157,000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2013, unemployment fell by 1.710 million in the EU28 and by 693,000 in the euro area.
Among the member-states, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2014 were recorded in Germany (4.8 percent) and Austria (4.9 percent), and the highest in Greece (25.8 percent in October 2014) and Spain (23.7 percent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in December 2014 fell in 24 member states, remained stable in Belgium and increased in Finland (8.3 percent to 8.9 percent), Italy (12.6 percent to 12.9 percent) and France (10.2 percent to 10.3 percent). The largest decreases were registered in Estonia (9 percent to 6.6 percent between November 2013 and November 2014), Bulgaria (12.8 percent to 10.8 percent), Greece (27.8 percent to 25.8 percent between October 2013 and October 2014), Hungary (9.3 percent to 7.3 percent between November 2013 and November 2014) and Poland (10 percent to 8 percent).
In December 2014, the unemployment rate in the United States was 5.6 percent, down from 5.8 percent in November 2014, and from 6.7 percent in December 2013.
In December 2014, 4.960 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.289 million were in the euro area. Compared with December 2013, youth unemployment decreased by 464,000 in the EU28 and by 168,000 in the euro area. In December 2014, the youth unemployment rate was 21.4 percent in the EU28 and 23 percent in the euro area, compared with 23.1 percent and 23.9 percent respectively in December 2013. In December 2014, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.2 percent), Austria (9 percent) and the Netherlands (9.6 percent), and the highest in Spain (51.4 percent), Greece (50.6 percent in October 2014), Croatia (44.8 percent in the fourth quarter 2014) and Italy (42 percent).