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Unemployment

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how the UK ranks against other EU member states in terms of (a) the change in the rate of unemployment and (b) the change in the rate of unemployment for 16 to 24 year olds in the last year for which figures are available. (254489)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, Dated February 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how the UK ranks against other EU member states in terms of (a) the change in the rate of unemployment and (b) the change in the rate of unemployment for 16 to 24 year olds in the last year for which figures are available. (254489)

Comparable unemployment rates for EU Member States are estimated and published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, using data derived from the Labour Force Survey in each country. The latest quarterly estimates and annual changes are provided in the attached two tables. Countries are ranked in order of the size of the annual change in each case.

The Eurostat definition of unemployed persons includes those aged 15. Estimates excluding 15 year olds are not readily available for most countries. Therefore the figures provided include those aged 15 for all countries except the UK and Spain.

Unemployment rates, by EU member state and age, seasonally adjusted

Table 1: People aged 15 to 741, ranked in order of change on year

Country

Latest period

Unemployment rate2 (percentage)

Change on year (percentage points)

Spain

Q4

2008

13.7

5.1

Estonia

Q4

2008

8.5

4.4

Latvia

Q4

2008

9.3

3.8

Ireland

Q4

2008

7.8

3.1

Lithuania

Q4

2008

7.2

3.0

Denmark

Q4

2008

4.2

0.9

Sweden

Q4

2008

6.8

0.9

Luxembourg

Q4

2008

4.7

0.6

United Kingdom

Q3

2008

5.8

0.6

Italy

Q3

2008

6.7

0.5

Hungary

Q4

2008

8.2

0.5

Cyprus

Q4

2008

4.0

0.2

France

Q4

2008

8.0

0.2

Portugal

Q4

2008

7.9

0.1

Belgium

Q4

2008

7.1

0.0

Finland

Q4

2008

6.5

-0.1

Netherlands

Q4

2008

2.8

-0.1

Austria

Q4

2008

3.8

-0.3

Czech Republic

Q4

2008

4.5

-0.3

Malta

Q4

2008

5.8

-0.3

Slovenia

Q4

2008

4.3

-0.3

Romania

Q3

2008

5.8

-0.6

Greece

Q3

2008

7.5

-0.7

Germany

Q4

2008

7.2

-0.8

Bulgaria

Q4

2008

5.3

-0.9

Slovakia

Q4

2008

9.2

-1.4

Poland

Q4

2008

6.5

-2.0

1 People aged 16 to 74 for the UK and Spain.

2 The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the total number of people employed and unemployed.

Source:

Eurostat

Table 2: People aged 15 to241, ranked in order of change on year

Country

Latest period

Unemployment rate2 (percentage)

Change on year (percentage points)

Estonia

Q4

2008

21.9

14.4

Lithuania

Q4

2008

18.1

10.7

Spain

Q4

2008

28.7

9.9

Ireland

Q4

2008

17.7

8.3

Latvia

Q4

2008

16.7

8.1

Denmark

Q4

2008

10.5

4.2

Sweden

Q4

2008

22.1

3.3

France

Q4

2008

20.8

2.7

Hungary

Q4

2008

21.6

2.2

Czech Republic

Q4

2008

10.9

1.8

Luxembourg

Q4

2008

17.1

1.7

Slovakia

Q4

2008

20.9

1.4

United Kingdom

Q3

2008

15.3

1.0

Finland

Q4

2008

17.0

0.8

Cyprus

Q4

2008

10.3

0.5

Italy

Q3

2008

20.6

0.4

Netherlands

Q4

2008

5.4

0.0

Portugal

Q4

2008

16.2

0.0

Slovenia

Q4

2008

11.5

0.0

Belgium

Q4

2008

18.0

-0.2

Malta

Q4

2008

11.9

-0.7

Greece

Q3

2008

21.9

-0.8

Austria

Q4

2008

7.0

-0.9

Germany

Q4

2008

9.8

-1.0

Romania

Q3

2008

18.9

-1.5

Poland

Q4

2008

17.1

-1.7

Bulgaria

Q4

2008

11.7

-3.0

1 People aged 16 to 24 for the UK and Spain.

2 The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the total number of people employed and unemployed.

Source:

Eurostat