EU Jobless Rate Takes Surprise Dip to 20-Year Low

(Eurostat)

(CN) – The unemployment rate across the European Union ticked down a tenth of a point to 6.2% in August, the lowest since the EU statistics office started generating monthly reports in January 2000.

Unemployment across the 19 states that use the euro as currency also fell a tenth of a point in August to 7.4%, the lowest rate recorded in the eurozone since May 2008 according to figures released Monday by Eurostat.

Czech Republic and Germany saw the lowest unemployment rates, 2% and 3.1%, respectively, while Greece and Spain saw the highest levels of joblessness at 17% and 13.8%. Greece and Spain have seen marked improvement in the last year, however, with the unemployment rate falling by about 2% for both.

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 24 of the 28 EU member states. The rate remained stable in Luxembourg and rose in Denmark, Lithuania and Sweden.

Monday’s report noted over 15.4 million adults in the EU are unemployed, nearly 12.2 million of them in the eurozone.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates for people under 25 decreased but remains high at 14.2%. Greece, Spain and Italy reported the highest jobless rates for young people at 33%, 32.2% and 27.1%, respectively.

In August, the unemployment rate in the United States held steady at 3.7%.

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