BRUSSELS – The rate of unemployment in the 19 eurozone countries continued its downward trend in October 2017 and was registered at 8.8 percent, a full percentage point lower than at the same time the previous year, while in the wider European Union a similar trend was observed, with figures falling to 7.4 percent from 8.3 percent in the same period, Eurostat reported Thursday.
Data collected by the EU’s statistics office showed month-to-month unemployment rates in October fell one-tenth of a percentage in both the eurozone and the 28 EU member states.
“Eurostat estimates that 18.243 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 14.344 million in the euro area, were unemployed in October 2017. Compared with September 2017, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 111,000 in the EU28 and by 88,000 in the euro area,” the report said.
Once again, the lowest unemployment rates were observed in the Czech Republic (2.7 percent), Malta (3.5 percent) and Germany (3.6 percent) while Greece and Spain headed up the bottom of the pack, with 20.6 and 16.7 percent respectively, although the latest figures for Greece pertain to August.
The most substantial drops in unemployment were seen in Cyprus, which fell from 13.1 percent to 10.2 year-on-year, and Greece which, from August to August, slid from 23.4 percent to 20.6.
Despite the overall uptick in the number of people finding work, the EU’s figures remain higher than the United States, where 4.1 percent of the workers are registered as unemployed, down from 4.8 percent in 2016.