In December2020, the euro areaseasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3 %, stable compared with November2020 and up from 7.4 % in December2019. The EU unemployment rate was 7.5 % in December2020, also stable compared with November 2020 and up from 6.5 % in December2019.
These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.Eurostat estimates that 16000 million men and women in the EU, of whom 13671 million in the Euro Area, were unemployed in December 2020. Compared with November2020, the number of persons unemployed increasedby 67000 in the EU, and by 55000 in the Euro Area. Compared with December2019, unemployment rose by 1.951million in the EU, and by 1.516 million in the Euro Area.
In December 2020, the Euro Area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3 %, stable compared with November2 020 and up from 7.4 % in December 2019. The EU unemployment rate was 7.5 % in December2020, also stable, compared with November 2020 and up from 6.5 % in December 2019.
These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.Eurostat estimates that 16000 million men and women in the EU, of whom 13671million in the Euro Area, were unemployed in December 2020. Compared with November2020, the number of persons unemployed increasedby 67000 in the EU, and by 55000 in the Euro Area. Compared with December2019, unemployment rose by 1.951million in the EUand by 1.516 million in the Euro Area.
In December2020, 3.138million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.590 million were in the Euro Area. In December 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 17.8 % in the EU and 18.5 % in the Euro Area, up from17.5 % and 18.1 % respectively in the previous month. Compared with November 2020, youth unemployment increased by 41000 in the EU and by 36000 in the Euro Area. Compared with December 2019, youth unemployment increased by 438000 in the EU and by 353000 in the Euro Area.
Unemployment by gender
In December2020, the unemployment rate for women was 7.9 % in the EU, stable, compared with November2020. The unemployment rate for men was 7.1 % in December 2020, also stable, compared with November 2020. In the Euro Area, the unemployment rate for women remained stable at 8.8 % in December 2020, while it increased from 7.8 %to 7.9 % for men.
Additional labour market indicators
These estimates are based on the globally used International Labour Organisation standard definition of unemployment, which counts as unemployed people without a job who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures applied to combat it have triggered a sharp increase in the number of claims for unemployment benefits across the EU. At the same time, a significant part of those who had registered in unemployment agencies were no longer actively looking for a job or no longer available for work, for instance, if they had to take care of their children. This leads to discrepancies in the number of registered unemployed and those measured as unemployed according to the ILO definition.
To capture in full the unprecedented labour market situation triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, the data on unemployment have been complemented by additional indicators, e.g. underemployed part-time workers, persons seeking work but not immediately available and persons available to work but not seeking, released together with LFS data for the third quarter of 2020. The LFS for the fourth quarter of 2020 will be released on 21 April 2021.
Euro area (EA19): Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
European Union (EU27): Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.
Methods and definitions
Eurostat publishes harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU Member States, the euro area and the EU. These unemployment rates are based on the definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The measurement is based on a harmonised data source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Based on the ILO definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who:
– are without work;
– are available to start work within the next two weeks;
– and have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.
The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.
Series have been seasonally adjusted using the seasonal factors estimated in the period up to December 2019 included. Those seasonal factors will be kept unchanged (‘controlled concurrent adjustment method’) until the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak can be integrated in seasonal adjustment models.
The labour force is the total number of people employed plus unemployed. In this news release unemployment rates are based on employment and unemployment data covering persons aged 15 to 74.
The youth unemployment rate is the number of people aged 15 to 24 unemployed as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. Therefore, the youth unemployment rate should not be interpreted as the share of jobless people in the overall youth population.
When data for the most recent month are not available for a Member State, EU and EA aggregates are calculated using the latest data available for that Member State.
Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Iceland: the trend component is used instead of the more volatile seasonally adjusted data.
Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal and Norway: 3-month moving averages of LFS data are used instead of pure monthly indicators.
Germany: due to the introduction of the new German system of integrated household surveys, including the LFS, the monthly unemployment rate for December 2020 is an estimation based on the figures recorded in previous periods, taking into account current developments.
Revisions and timetable
The data in this News Release can be subject to revisions, caused by updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added; the inclusion of the most recent LFS data in the calculation process; update of seasonal adjustment models with complete annual data.
Compared with the rates published in News Release 4/2021 of 8 January 2021, the November 2020 unemployment rate for the euro area and the EU has remained unchanged. Among EU Member States, the rate has been revised by more than 0.1 percentage points (pp) downwards for Spain and Malta (both by 0.3 pp) as well as for Ireland (by 0.2 pp). The rate has been revised by more than 0.1 percentage points upwards for Greece (by 0.6 pp, September 2020 data) and Austria (by 0.3 pp).