Compared with February 2017, the number of unemployed decreased by 5,000 to 15.515 million in the Euro Area. Compared with the previous year, it fell by 991,000.
Considering the European Union, the unemployment rate was 8 percent in March 2017, down from 8.1 percent in February and from 8.7 percent a year ago. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since January 2009. There were 19.716 million people unemployed, a decrease of 56,000 from the previous month and of 1.647 million from March 2016.
Among EU Member States, the lowest unemployment rates in March 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.2 percent), Germany (3.9 percent) and Malta (4.1 percent). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.5 percent in January 2017) and Spain (18.2 percent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in March 2017 fell in twenty-three Member States, remained stable in France and Austria, while it increased in Denmark (to 6.2 percent from 6 percent), Italy (to 11.7 percent from 11.5 percent) and Lithuania (to 8.1 percent from 8 percent). The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (to 11.3 percent from 14 percent), Portugal (to 9.8 percent from 12 percent), Spain (to 18.2 percent from 20.3 percent) and Ireland (to 6.4 percent from 8.3 percent).