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EU unemployment rate constant at 6.6% in January03 March 2020

The European Union's unemployment rate stood at 6.6% in January, the bloc's statistical office reported on Tuesday. 

The figure was unchanged from the previous month, while it dropped from 6.7% in the same month last year, Eurostat said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was 7.4% in the euro area, the office said, "stable compared with December 2019 and down from 7.8% in January 2019."

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency -- euro -- while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.

It said 14.08 million men and women in the EU27, including 12.18 million in the euro area, were unemployed as of January.

The number of unemployed rose 16,000 on a monthly basis, while it dropped 746,000 year-on-year in January across the 27-member bloc.

Czechia, Poland, and the Netherlands posted the lowest unemployment rates with 2%, 2.9%, and 3%, respectively, in the month.

The highest rates were seen in Greece with 16.5% in November 2019 (the latest data available), and in Spain with 13.7% in January.

"Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 19 member states, remained stable in Germany and Romania," read the press release.

"It increased in Estonia (from 4.3% to 4.5% between December 2018 and December 2019), Slovenia (from 4.5% to 4.7%), Portugal (from 6.6% to 6.9%), Lithuania (from 6.1% to 6.6%), Luxembourg (from 5.2% to 5.7%) and Sweden (from 6.5% to 7.0%)"

Eurostat also said there were some 2.72 million unemployed young people -- under 25 -- in the EU27 in January, making for a 14.9% youth unemployment rate.

The highest youth unemployment figures were seen in Greece, Spain, and Italy, and the lowest in Czechia, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The EU's statistical office also announced that the inflation rate is expected to reach 1.2% in the EA19 in February, down from 1.4% in January.

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