05 July 2006

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Business Today

Highest year-on-year increase in unemployment

Malta registered the highest increase in unemployment numbers from among EU member states with the figure for May going up to 8.3 per cent from 7.2 per cent a year earlier.
Since May last year unemployment in Malta has been on a constant monthly incline, reaching 8.4 per cent last April. Unemployment dropped by 0.1 per cent in May this year when compared to April.
Statistics released by Eurostat show that seasonally-adjusted unemployment in the Euro area stood at 7.9 per cent in May 2006, compared to 8.0 per cent in April. It was 8.7 per cent in May 2005. The EU25 unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in May 2006, unchanged when compared to April. It was 8.8% in May 2005.
In May 2006, the lowest rates were registered in Denmark and the Netherlands, both 3.9 per cent, Ireland at 4.3 per cent and Luxembourg where unemployment stood at 4.7 per cent. Unemployment rates were highest in Poland (16.4%), Slovakia (15.5%), Greece (9.6% in the fourth quarter 2005), France (8.8%) and Belgium (8.4%).
Amongst the Member States, seventeen recorded a decrease in their unemployment rate over a year and seven reported an increase. The largest relative falls were observed in Estonia (8.2% to 4.9%), Lithuania (8.7% to 5.6%), Denmark (5.2% to 3.9%), and the Netherlands (4.8% to 3.9%). The highest relative increases were registered in Malta (7.2% to 8.3%), the United Kingdom (4.6% in March 2005 to 5.2% in March 2006), Cyprus (5.1% in March 2005 to 5.5% in March 2006), Slovenia (6.2% to 6.5%), and Luxembourg (4.5% to 4.7%). The unemployment rate for males fell from 7.5% to 6.9% in the euro area between May 2005 and May 2006 and from 8.0% to 7.4% in the EU25. The female unemployment rate declined from 10.1% to 9.2% in the euro area and from 9.9% to 9.2% in the EU25.
In May 2006, the unemployment rate for under-25s was 16.7% in the euro area and 17.7% in the EU25. In May 2005 it was 17.7% and 18.7% respectively. The lowest rates for under-25s were observed in the Netherlands (5.9%), Denmark (7.5%), Ireland (9.0%) and Austria (9.6%), the highest in Poland (33.3%), Slovakia (29.7%) and Greece (26.4% in fourth quarter 2005).

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