Within the EU and the CECC (Central European candidate countries1), regional unemployment rates varied widely in 2001. Rates in the EU ranged from 1.2% in the region of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, to 33.3% in that of RÃ©union, in France.
The disparities were of the same order of magnitude in the regions of the CECC: from 2.0% in the region of KÃ¶zÃ©p-MagyarorszÃ¡g, in Hungary, to 32.8% in that of Severozapaden, in Bulgaria. Regional unemployment rates fell between April 2000 and April 2001 in more than 80% of the 209 NUTS 2 regions of the EU, as well as in half the 53 NUTS 2 regions of the CECC between the second quarter of 2000 and the second quarter of 2001.
The data on regional unemployment, compiled on the basis of the Community Labour Force Survey, are comparable between the regions of the EU and the CECC. They are taken from two reports3 published today by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg.
Unemployment double the EU average in 40% of the regions of the CECC
Of the 209 NUTS 2 regions of the EU observed in April 2001, 53 (nearly one third of which were in the United Kingdom), had a rate of 3.8% or less, i.e. half the average for the EU. Only Greece, Spain and France had no region with a rate equal to or less than half the EU average. Denmark, which comprises a single unit, was in the same position. At the other extreme, 16 regions had a rate of 15.2% or higher, i.e. double that of the EU: 5 were in Italy, 4 in France (all Overseas Departments), 3 in Germany and Spain, and 1 in Greece.
Of the 53 CECC regions considered, only the regions of KÃ¶zÃ©p-MagyarorszÃ¡g and Nyugat-DunÃ¡ntÃºl, in Hungary, and that of Praha, in the Czech Republic, had rates lower than half the EU average. In 16 regions, the unemployment rate was equal to or lower than that of the EU, i.e. 7.6% in 2001. These regions were in Romania (6 regions), Hungary (5), the Czech Republic (4) and Slovenia (1). In 22 regions, the unemployment rate was more than double that of the EU: 13 in Poland, 5 in Bulgaria, 3 in Slovakia, and one in Lithuania.