Cyprus registered the largest annual unemployment decrease for February 2018, (from 12.6% to 9.6% or from 43 000 individuals to 41 000) according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Unemployment in Cyprus was 10.0 in January 2018 and 10.5% in December 2017.
Meanwhile, the euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5% in February 2018, down from 8.6% in January 2018 and from 9.5% in February 2017. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since December 2008. The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.1% in February 2018, down from 7.2% in January 2018 and from 8.0% in February 2017. This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since September 2008.
Eurostat estimates that 17.632 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 13.916 million in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2018. Compared with January 2018, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 201 000 in the EU28 and by 141 000 in the euro area. Compared with February 2017, unemployment fell by 1.968 million in the EU28 and by 1.436 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in February 2018 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.4%), Germany and Malta (both 3.5%) as well as Hungary (3.7% in January 2018). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (20.8% in December 2017) and Spain (16.1%). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all Member States except Estonia where it increased (from 5.8% to 6.5% between January 2017 and January 2018).
The largest decreases were registered in Cyprus (from 12.6% to 9.6%), Greece (from 23.4% to 20.8% between December 2016 and December 2017) and Croatia (from 12.0% to 9.6%). In February 2018, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.1%, stable compared to January 2018 and down from 4.7% in February 2017.
In February 2018, 3.589 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.520 million were in the euro area. Compared with February 2017, youth unemployment decreased by 314 000 in the EU28 and by 213 000 in the euro area. In February 2018, the youth unemployment rate was 15.9% in the EU28 and 17.7% in the euro area, compared with 17.3% and 19.4% respectively in February 2017. In February 2018, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (6.2%), the Netherlands (7.2%) and the Czech Republic (7.5%), while the highest were recorded in Greece (45.0% in December 2017), Spain (35.5%) and Italy (32.8%). Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Slovenia, provide quarterly data.