Euro area unemployment at 7.8%

Updated on

In June 2020, the month when COVID-19 containment measures started being phased out in most Member States, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8%, up from 7.7% in May 2020. The EU unemployment rate was 7.1% in June 2020, up from 7.0% in May 2020. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 15.023 million men and women in the EU, of whom 12.685 million in the euro area, were unemployed in June 2020. Compared with May 2020, the number of persons unemployed increased by 281 000 in the EU and by 203 000 in the euro area.

Youth unemployment

In June 2020, 2.962 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.360 million were in the euro area. In June 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 16.8% in the EU and 17.0% in the euro area, up from 16.2% and 16.5% respectively in the previous month. Compared with May 2020, youth unemployment increased by 124 000 in the EU and by 80 000 in the euro area.

Unemployment by gender

In June 2020, the unemployment rate for women was 7.5% in the EU, up from 7.3% in May 2020. The unemployment rate for men was 6.7% in June 2020, up from 6.6% in May 2020. In the euro area, the unemployment rate for women increased from 8.1% in May 2020 to 8.3% in June 2020 while it increased from 7.3% to 7.4% for men.

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 confinement measures applied since March 2020 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, e.g. limited by the confinement measures or no longer available for work, for instance, if they had to take care of their children during the lockdown. 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. on employment, underemployment and potential additional labour force participants, released together with LFS quarterly data for 2020.