The FINANCIAL -- The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA19) was 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 1.6% recorded in both the previous quarter and the fourth quarter of 2015, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The job vacancy rate in the EU28 was 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, stable compared with the previous quarter and up from 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015.
In the euro area, the job vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 1.3% in industry and construction, and 2.0% in services. In the EU28, the rate was 1.4% in industry and construction, and 2.1% in services.
Among the Member States for which comparable data are available (see country notes), the highest job vacancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2016 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.0%), Belgium (2.9%), Germany (2.6%) and the United Kingdom (2.5%), and the lowest in Greece (0.3%), Cyprus (0.6%), Spain, Poland and Portugal (all 0.7%) and Bulgaria (0.8%).
Compared with a year ago, the job vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 rose in twenty-three Member States, remained stable in four and fell in Cyprus (-0.1 percentage points). The largest increases were registered in Belgium and Croatia (both +0.7 pp), the Czech Republic (+0.6 pp), Latvia and Slovenia (both +0.5 pp).