POST Online Media Lite Edition


Huge difference: Unemployment rates in EU ranged from 1.3% to 35.1%

Christian Fernsby |
More than 80% of the NUTS 2 regions of the European Union (EU) saw their unemployment rate for persons aged 15-74 fall in 2018 compared with 2017.

Article continues below

Around 60% recorded a decrease of at least 0.5 percentage points.

However, regional unemployment rates continued to vary widely across the EU regions, with the lowest rates recorded in two Czech regions Prague (1.3%) and South-West (1.5%), and Mittelfranken (1.8%) in Germany, followed by two further German regions, Tübingen and Oberpfalz, and Cumbria in the United Kingdom (all 1.9%).

At the opposite end of the scale, the highest unemployment rates were registered in Mayotte (35.1%) an overseas region of France, the Spanish

utonomous city of Ceuta (29.0%), West Macedonia (27.0%) in Greece, the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla (25.8%), Réunion (24.3%) another overseas region of France and Western Greece (24.1%).

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.

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

Among the 280 EU regions for which data are available, 71 had an unemployment rate of less than 3.5% in 2018, half the average of the EU (6.9%).

They included twenty regions in Germany, fifteen in the United Kingdom, nine in Poland, seven in Czechia, five in Hungary, four each in the Netherlands and Austria, two in Belgium and Romania and one each in Bulgaria, Italy and Slovakia.

In contrast, 30 regions had a rate of at least 13.8%, double that of the EU: twelve regions in Greece, eight in Spain and five each in France and Italy.

Youth unemployment rates varied from 4% in Upper Bavaria to over 66% in Melilla

In 2018, the average unemployment rate for young people aged between 15 and 24 in the EU was 15.2%. However, there are marked regional differences in the unemployment rates for young people.

The lowest rates were in Upper Bavaria (4.0%) in Germany and South-West (4.1%) in Czechia, followed by two German regions Stuttgart and Weser-Ems (both 4.3%) as well as Central Bohemia (5.0%) in Czechia, and the highest were in the Spanish regions Melilla (66.1%) and Ceuta (62.4%), West Macedonia (62.0%) in Greece and Mayotte (61.1%), an overseas region of France.

In more than 80% of the EU regions, the unemployment rate for young people was at least twice that of total unemployment in the same region.

What to read next

Unemployment rates in EU regions range from 2.5% to 34%
OECD unemployment rate stable at 6.6% in December 2015
Norway: Increase in unemployment among persons with higher education