Compared with January 2017, the number of unemployed decreased by 140,000 to 15.439 million in the Euro Area. Compared with the previous year, it fell by 1.246 million.
Considering the European Union, the unemployment rate was 8 percent in February 2017, down from 8.1 percent in January and from 8.9 percent a year ago. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since January 2009. There were 19.750 million people unemployed, a decrease of 153,000 from the previous month and of 1.852 from February 2016.
Among EU Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.4 percent), Germany (3.9 percent) and Malta (4.1 percent). The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (23.1 percent in December 2016) and Spain (18 percent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in February 2017 fell in twenty-six Member States, while it increased in Denmark (6.4 percent from 6 percent) and Lithuania (8.3 percent from 8 percent). The largest decreases were registered in Croatia (11.6 percent from 14.4 percent), Spain (18 percent from 20.5 percent), Portugal (10 percent from 12.2 percent) and Ireland (6.6 percent from 8.4 percent).