Euro-zone unemployment up to 8.3%

Euro-zone1 seasonally-adjusted unemployment2 rose to 8.3% in April 2002 from 8.2% in March³, Eurostat - Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg - reports today. It was 8.0% in April 2001.

The EU15 unemployment rate was 7.6% in April compared to 7.5% in March³. It was 7.4% in April 2001.

Euro-zone and EU15 unemployment rates published in the previous release³, have been revised mainly as a result of changes in the Spanish series. These changes are due to the implementation of a more precise definition of unemployment in Spain. More information on revisions in Spain and other Member States are given in annex.

In April 2002, lowest rates were registered in Luxembourg (2.2%), the Netherlands (2.7% in March), Austria (4.0%), Denmark (4.1% in March), Portugal and Ireland (4.4% each). Spain’s 11.3% remained the EU’s highest rate.

In the last twelve months, Ireland (3.7% to 4.4%), Austria (3.4% to 4.0%), Luxembourg (2.0% to 2.2%) and Portugal (4.0% to 4.4%) recorded the most important relative increases. DenmarkÂ's rate on the other hand, fell from 4.4% (in March 2001) to 4.1% (in March 2002).

In April 2002 compared to April 2001, the unemployment rate for males in the euro-zone grew from 6.7% to 7.0%, and the female unemployment rate rose from 9.8% to 10.0%. In the EU15 the unemployment rate for males grew from 6.4% in April 2001 to 6.6% in April 2002. Over the same period the female rate increased from 8.7% to 8.8%.

In April 2002, the unemployment rate for under-25s was 16.6% in the euro-zone and 15.4% in the EU15. This compares to 16.0% and 14.9% respectively a year earlier. In April 2002, it ranged from 6.3% in the Netherlands (in March) to 22.3% in Spain.

In April, the US unemployment rate was 6.1% and the Japanese rate was 5.2%.

Eurostat estimates that, in April 2002, 11.5 million men and women were unemployed in the euro-zone and 13.3 million in the EU15. These are seasonally-adjusted figures in line with ILO criteria.

(source: Eurostat)

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