Unemployment Rates Ranged from 1.3% to 30.1% in 2019

In 2019, the year before COVID-19 containment measures widely introduced by EU Member States, unemployment rates continued to vary widely across the NUTS 2 regions of the EU’s 27 Member States.

The lowest rates recorded in four Czech regions:

  1. Prague and Central Bohemia (both 1.3%)
  2. South-West (1.5%) as well as
  3. North-East (1.7%), followed by
  4. West Transdanubia (1.8%) in Hungary,
  5. Two German regions, Upper Bavaria and Tübingen, and one further Czech region, South-East (all 1.9%).

At the opposite end of the scale, the highest unemployment rates registered in Mayotte (30.1%) an overseas region of France, the Spanish autonomous cities of Melilla (27.0%) and Ceuta (25.8%) and two Greek regions, West Macedonia (24.6%) and Western Greece (24.1%), Eurostat data showed.

Compared with 2018, almost three quarters (74%) of EU’s regions saw their unemployment rate for persons aged 15-74 fall. Almost half (48%) recorded a decrease of at least 0.5 percentage points.

These data on regional unemployment, compiled on the basis of the EU Labour Force Survey, are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. A Statistics Explained article is also available on Eurostat’s website.

Over a quarter of EU regions with an unemployment rate half or less of the EU average

Among the 239 EU regions for which data are available, 66 have an unemployment rate of less than 3.4% in 2019, half the average of the EU (6.7%).

They included twenty-two regions in Germany, eleven in Poland, eight in the Netherlands, seven in Czechia, five in Austria, four in Hungary, three in Romania, two each in Belgium and Bulgaria, as well as one each in Italy and Slovakia.

In contrast, 29 regions had an unemployment rate of at least 13.4%, double that of the EU: ten regions in Greece, nine in Spain and five each in France and Italy.

Youth unemployment rates varied from 2.8% in North-East in Czechia to 64.0% in Melilla in Spain

In 2019, the average unemployment rate for young people aged between 15 and 24 in the EU was 15.1%.

However, regional differences marked in the unemployment rates for young people.

The lowest rate recorded in North-East (2.8%) in Czechia, followed by Czech capital city region Prague and German region Upper Bavaria (both 3.3%) as well as another Czech region, Central Bohemia (3.6%), three German regions, Freiburg (4.0%), Swabia (4.4%) and Münster (4.6%) as well as South-West (4.7%) in Czechia.

By contrast, the highest rate recorded in the Spanish region Melilla (64.0%), followed by the French region Mayotte (54.1%), West Macedonia (53.5%) in Greece, Ceuta in Spain and Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France, (both 52.7%) as well as Sicily (51.1%) in Italy.

In over 83% of the EU regions for which data are available, the unemployment rate for young people was at least twice that of total unemployment in the same region.

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