December 2021: Euro area unemployment at 7.0%

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 February, 2022 at 11:06 am by Andre Camilleri

In December 2021, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0%, down from 7.1% in November 2021 and from 8.2% in December 2020. The EU unemployment rate was 6.4% in December 2021, down from 6.5% in November 2021 and from 7.5% in December 2020. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 13.612 million men and women in the EU, of whom 11.481 million in the euro area, were unemployed in December 2021. Compared with November 2021, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 210 000 in the EU and by 185 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2020, unemployment decreased by 2.196 million in the EU and by 1.828 million in the euro area.

Youth unemployment

In December 2021, 2.748 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.222 million were in the euro area. In December 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 14.9% in both the EU and the euro area, down from 15.3% in the EU and from 15.4% in the euro area in the previous month. Compared with November 2021, youth unemployment decreased by 81 000 in the EU and by 78 000 in the euro area. Compared with December 2020, youth unemployment decreased by 385 000 in the EU and by 323 000 in the euro area.

Unemployment by sex

In December 2021, the unemployment rate for women was 6.6% in the EU, down from 6.8% in November 2021. The unemployment rate for men was 6.1% in December 2021, down from 6.2% in November 2021. In the euro area, the unemployment rate for women decreased from 7.5% in November 2021 to 7.3% in December 2021, while the unemployment rate for men decreased from 6.8% to 6.7%.

Additional labour market indicators

These estimates are based on the globally used International Labour Organisation (ILO) 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 crisis 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 might be no longer actively looking for a job or no longer available for work. This may still lead 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 2021.

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