Unemployment rate in member states of the European Union in December 2015 (seasonally adjusted)

The statistic reflects the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in member states of the European Union in December 2015. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Spain in December 2015 was 20.8 percent.

The unemployment rate represents the share of the unemployed in all potential employees available to the job market.

Unemployment rates in the EU

The unemployment rate is an important measure of a country or region’s economic health, and despite unemployment levels in the European Union falling slightly from a peak in early 2013 , they remain high, especially in comparison to what the rates were before the worldwide recession started in 2008. This confirms the continuing stagnation in European markets, which hits young job seekers particularly hard as they struggle to compete against older, more experienced workers for a job, suffering under jobless rates twice as high as general unemployment.

Some companies, such as Microsoft and Fujitsu, have created thousands of jobs in some of the countries which have particularly dire unemployment rates, creating a beacon of hope. However, some industries such as information technology, face the conundrum of a deficit of qualified workers in the local unemployed work force, and have to hire workers from abroad instead of helping decrease the local unemployment rates. This skills mismatch has no quick solution, as workers require time for retraining to fill the openings in the growing science-, technology-, or engineering-based jobs, and too few students choose degrees that would help them obtain these positions.

Worldwide unemployment also remains high, with the rates being worst in the Middle East and North Africa. Estimates by the International Labour Organization predict that the problem will stabilize in coming years, but not improve until at least 2017.

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 Unemployment rate
Greece** 24.5%
Spain 20.8%
Croatia 16.5%
Cyprus 15.7%
Portugal 11.8%
Italy 11.4%
Slowakia 10.6%
Euro area 10.4%
France 10.2%
Latvia 10.2%
Finland 9.5%
EU 9%
Slovenia 8.8%
Ireland 8.8%
Bulgaria 8.8%
Lithuania 8.5%
Belgium 7.9%
Sweden 7.1%
Poland 7.1%
Romania 6.7%
Netherlands 6.6%
Estonia* 6.5%
Hungary* 6.3%
Luxembourg 6.1%
Denmark 6%
Austria 5.8%
Great Britain** 5.1%
Malta 5.1%
Germany 4.5%
Czech Republic 4.5%
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