Eurostat estimates that more than 26 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2012, which is the highest level since the euro was established in 1999.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria - AT (4.5%), Luxembourg - LU (5.1%), Germany-DE (5.4%) and the Netherlands - NL (5.6%), and the highest in Spain - ES (26.6%) and Greece - EL (26.0% in September 2012).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in eighteen Member States, fell in seven and remained stable in Denmark - DK and Hungary - HU.

The largest decreases were observed in Estonia - EE (12.1% to 9.5% between October 2011 and October 2012), Latvia - LV (15.7% to 14.1% between the third quarters of 2011 and 2012), and Lithuania - LT (13.9% to 12.5%).

The highest increases were registered in Greece - EL (18.9% to 26.0% between September 2011 and September 2012), Cyprus - CY (9.5% to 14.0%), Spain - ES (23.0% to 26.6%) and Portugal-PT (14.1% to 16.3%).

Between November 2011 and November 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 10.4% to 11.7% in the euro area and from 9.9% to 10.8% in the EU27.

The female unemployment rate rose from 10.9% to 11.8% in the euro area and from 10.1% to 10.7% in the EU27.

- Eurostat Newsrelease

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Last modified on February 4 2013.