Euro zone unemployment at 8.3%

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The FINANCIAL — In September 2020, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3%, stable compared with August 2020 and up from 7.5% in September 2019. The EU unemployment rate was 7.5% in September 2020, stable compared with August 2020 and up from 6.6% i

Eurostat estimates that 15.990 million men and women in the EU, of whom 13.612 million in the euro area, were unemployed in September 2020. Compared with August 2020, the number of persons unemployed increased by 42 000 in the EU and by 75 000 in the euro area. Compared with September 2019, unemployment rose by 1.811 million in the EU and by 1.376 million in the euro area.

Youth unemployment

In September 2020, 2.995 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.451 million were in the euro area. In September 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 17.1% in the EU and 17.6% in the euro area, down from 17.8% and 18.3% respectively in the previous month. Compared with August 2020, youth unemployment decreased by 97 000 in the EU and by 77 000 in the euro area. This decrease should be interpreted with caution: it might be explained by some young persons not actively seeking employment until the situation improves in the labour market. Compared with September 2019, youth unemployment increased by 259 000 in the EU and by 202 000 in the euro area.

Unemployment by gender

In September 2020, the unemployment rate for women was 7.9% in the EU, stable compared with August 2020. The unemployment rate for men was 7.1% in September 2020, also stable compared with August 2020. In the euro area, the unemployment rate for women increased from 8.8% in August 2020 to 8.9% in September 2020 while it decreased from 7.9% to 7.8% for men.

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Additional labour market indicators

These estimates are based on the globally used International Labour Organisation standard definition of unemployment, which counts as unemployed people without a job who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures applied to combat it have triggered a sharp increase in the number of claims for unemployment benefits across the EU. At the same time, a significant part of those who had registered in unemployment agencies were no longer actively looking for a job or no longer available for work, for instance, if they had to take care of their children. This leads to discrepancies in the number of registered unemployed and those measured as unemployed according to the ILO definition. To capture in full the unprecedented labour market situation triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, the data on unemployment have been complemented by additional indicators, e.g. underemployed part-time workers, persons seeking work but not immediately available and persons available to work but not seeking, released together with LFS data for the second quarter of 2020.

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