Unemployment rates in the EU regions varied from 1.3% to 30.1% in 2019

April 24, 2020

In 2019, the year prior to COVID-19 containment measures were widely introduced by EU Member States, unemployment rates continued to vary widely across the NUTS 2 regions of the EU’s 27 Member States, as noted by Eurostat. The lowest rates were observed in four Czech regions: Prague and Central Bohemia (both 1.3%), South-West (1.5%) as well as North-East (1.7%), followed by West Transdanubia (1.8%) in Hungary, two German regions, Upper Bavaria and Tübingen, and one further Czech region, South-East (all 1.9%). The highest unemployment rates, however, were recorded in Mayotte (30.1%) an overseas region of France, the Spanish autonomous cities of Melilla (27.0%) and Ceuta (25.8%) and two Greek regions, West Macedonia (24.6%) and Western Greece (24.1%).

When compared to 2018, about three quarters (74%) of EU’s regions noticed their unemployment rate for persons aged 15-74 tumble. Eurostat noted, “almost half (48%) recorded a decrease of at least 0.5 percentage points.”

Over a quarter of EU regions with an unemployment rate half or less of the EU average

In 2019, 66 out of 239 EU regions for which data are available, experienced unemployment rate of under 3.4%, half the average of the EU (6.7%). They included twenty-two regions in Germany, eleven in Poland, eight in the Netherlands, seven in Czechia, five in Austria, four in Hungary, three in Romania, two each in Belgium and Bulgaria, as well as one each in Italy and Slovakia. Nevertheless, 29 regions had an unemployment rate of at least 13.4%, double that of the EU: ten regions in Greece, nine in Spain and five each in France and Italy.

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