EU Regional Unemployment Rates, February 2019

Apr 15, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU Regions

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU region as of February 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  The Eastern EU continues to hold the lowest unemployment rate as it did last month and last year.


  • The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the Eastern EU, and the region with the highest, the Southern EU, is 8.15 percentage points (up from 8.03 last month but down from 8.82 last year).
  • The Southern EU has 3.08 times the unemployment rate that the Eastern EU does (up from 2.96 last month and 2.92 last year).
  • The Eastern EU has an unemployment rate lower than all Northern EU states and all but one Southern EU states.
  • The Southern EU has an unemployment rate that is higher than every state in every other region.


  • Data is from February 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from January 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from December 2018.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
  • The Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.


In absolute terms, the Eastern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.18 percentage points from 4.10% to 3.92%.  The Northern EU had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 0.10 percentage points from a rate of 5.90% to a rate of 6.00%.  Year over year, the Southern EU saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 1.34 percentage points from 13.41% to 12.07%.  The Northern EU saw the smallest improvement dropping its rate 0.17 percentage points from 6.17% to 6.00%.

In relative terms, the Eastern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 4.39%.  The Northern EU had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 1.69%.  Year over year, the Eastern EU saw the greatest improvement with a 14.60% drop in its rate.  The Northern EU saw the slightest improvement of all the regions with a 2.76% drop in its rate.

The Northern EU has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 5.0% in Denmark to a high of 6.7% in Finland.  The Southern EU has the greatest range with a low of 3.5% in Malta to a high of 18.0% in Greece.

The Northern EU's state with the lowest rate, Denmark, had a higher unemployment rate - 5.0% - than all other region's states with the lowest rate (the Eastern EU's Czech Republic with a 1.9%, the Southern EU's Malta with a 3.5%, and the Western EU's Germany with a 3.1%).  However, the Northern EU's state with the highest rate, Finland, had a lower unemployment rate - 6.7% - than all other regions' states with the highest rate (the Eastern EU's Croatia with a 7.5%, the Southern EU's Greece with an 18.0%, and the Western EU's France with an 8.8%).


Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed April 9, 2019.,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;S_ADJ,L,Z,0;AGE,L,Z,1;UNIT,L,Z,2;SEX,L,Z,3;INDICATORS,C,Z,4;&zSelection=DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624SEX,T;DS-055624AGE,TOTAL;DS-055624INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=UNIT_1_2_-1_2&rankName2=AGE_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&rankName4=SEX_1_2_-1_2&rankName5=S-ADJ_1_2_-1_2&rankName6=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName7=GEO_1_2_0_1&sortC=ASC_-1_FIRST&rStp=&cStp=&rDCh=&cDCh=&rDM=true&cDM=true&footnes=false&empty=false&wai=false&time_mode=NONE&time_most_recent=false&lang=EN&cfo=%23%23%23%2C%23%23%23.%23%23%23.

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