The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US region as of December 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. US regions continue to have considerably lower unemployment rates than EU regions with the Eastern EU being the only EU region that tops a US region.
- The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the Southern US, and the region with the highest, the Southern EU, is 8.18 percentage points (down from 8.19 last month and down from 8.57 last year). The Southern EU had the highest rate both last month and last year. The Southern US had the lowest rate both last month and last year.
- The Southern EU has 3.43 times the unemployment rate that the Southern US does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.41 last month and up from 3.36 last year.
- All US regions and the Eastern and Western EU each has an unemployment rate that is lower than every state in the Northern EU.
- The Southern EU has an unemployment rate that is higher than every state in every other region.
- Zero regions had the same rate as the previous month, six regions (3 US, 3 EU) saw an improvement in their rate from the previous month, and two (1 US, 1 EU) saw a deterioration.
- Zero regions had the same rate as last year, eight regions (4 US, 4 EU) saw an improvement in their rate from last year, and zero saw a deterioration.
- Data is from December 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from November 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from October 2019.
- Data may conflict with previous month's report as statistical agencies make updates to the rates over the course of the month.
- 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 Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
- The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
- The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.
- The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
- The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
- The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
In absolute terms, the Northern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.36 percentage points. The Northeastern US had the largest increase over the previous month raising its rate 0.04 percentage points. Year over year, the Southern EU saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 0.65 percentage points. The Northern EU saw the smallest reduction dropping its rate 0.02 percentage points.
In relative terms, the Northern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 5.49%. The Northeastern US had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 1.09%. Year over year, the Western US saw the greatest improvement with a 8.45% drop in its rate. The Northern EU saw the smallest reduction with a 0.32% drop in its rate.
The Northern EU has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 5.1% in Denmark to a high of 6.6% in Finland and Sweden. The Southern EU has the greatest range with a low of 3.4% in Malta to a high of 16.6% in Greece.
The Midwestern US states had the lowest median unemployment rate at 3.25%. The Midwestern US states also had the lowest mean unemployment rate at 3.30%. On the other hand, the Southern EU states had the highest median and mean unemployment rates at 8.70% and 9.67% respectively. Although the Southern US as a whole had the lowest rate, the relatively large range in rates in the region gave its states the second smallest median rate at 3.45% and the third lowest mean rate at 3.66% (bested by the Northeastern US). The four US regions held the four lowest median and mean unemployment rates.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed February 10, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.
Eurostat. 2020. "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average." Accessed February 7, 2020. https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_1045B87B_UID_-3F171EB0&layout=TIME,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.