THE largest annual decrease in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the European Union was recorded in Cyprus. The figure dropped from 16.2 per cent in March 2015 to 12.1 per cent in March 2016 or from around 70,000 people to 50,000, according to a study published by Eurostat.
The average rate in the EU was 8.8 per cent, down from 9.7 per cent the same time last year. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU for seven years, since April 2009. Compared with March 2015, unemployment fell by 2,091,000 people in the EU.
Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates in March this year were recorded in the Czech Republic (4.1 per cent) and Germany (4.2 per cent). The highest were observed in Greece (24.4 per cent in January 2016) and Spain (20.4 per cent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in March fell in 25 member states and increased slightly in Austria, Latvia and Finland. After Cyprus, the largest decreases were registered in Bulgaria and Spain.
In Cyprus, 28.2 per cent of young persons under 25 are unemployed. This figure is down from 34.4 per cent last March.
In March, a total of 4,287,000 young persons were unemployed in the EU. Compared with March 2015, youth unemployment decreased by 498,000. The lowest rate was recorded in Germany this year, 6.9 per cent, and the highest in Greece with 51.9 per cent.