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Big variations in jobless across EU regions

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(LUXEMBOURG) - While unemployment rates fell in the majority of EU regions in 2015 compared with the previous year, figures from Eurostat show a huge variation in the levels of unemployment across Europe.

More than 60% of the European Union's NUTS 2 regions recorded a decrease of at least 0.5 percentage points in their regional unemployment rate in 2015 compared with 2014.

Regional unemployment rates varied widely across the EU regions, with the lowest rates recorded in the German regions of Freiburg and Niederbayern (both 2.5%), Oberbayern and Oberpfalz (both 2.7%), followed by Praha in the Czech Republic (2.8%).

However, Spain continues to suffer at the opposite end of the scale, with highest unemployment rates registered in Melilla (34.0%) and Andalucía (31.5%) in Spain, Dytiki Makedonia (30.7%) in Greece, Canarias and Extremadura (both 29.1%) in Spain.

Half or less of the EU average

Among the 274 EU regions for which data are available, 60 had an unemployment rate of 4.7% or less in 2015, half the average of the EU (9.4%). These included twenty-four regions in Germany, twenty-one in the United Kingdom, five in Austria, three in the Czech Republic, two each in Belgium, Hungary and Romania and one in Italy.

In contrast, 29 regions had a rate of at least 18.8%, double that of the EU: eleven regions in Greece, ten in Spain and four each in France (all overseas departments) and Italy.

Long-term unemployed

In around 30% of regions, the majority of the unemployed had been out of work for at least a year. More than threequarters of the unemployed had been out of work for at least a year in four Greek regions: Peloponnisos (77.1%), Attiki (76.7%), Sterea Ellada (76.4%) and Dytiki Ellada (76.3%).

Full figures from Eurostat

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