According to the latest figures from Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, unemployment across the EU rose slightly in February 2013, while year-on-year comparisons show Ireland’s unemployment rate to be much improved.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the 27 EU member states rose to 10.9pc in February 2013, up from 10.8pc in January. Among the 17 euro area countries, the rate is 12pc.
This equates to almost 27m people unemployed across the EU, and represents an increase on figures from February 2012 when rates were at 10.2pc among the EU27 and 10.9pc in the euro area.
Austria (4.8pc), Germany (5.4pc), Luxembourg (5.5pc) and the Netherlands (6.2pc) claim the lowest unemployment rates among EU member states, while the highest are found in Greece (26.4pc in December 2012), Spain (26.3pc) and Portugal (17.5pc).
Overall, unemployment has increased in 19 member states and fallen in eight. Ireland is among those countries exhibiting the largest decreases in unemployment, dropping from 15.1pc in January 2012 to 14.2pc in January 2013, leaving it with the sixth-highest unemployment rate in Europe.
The youth unemployment rate is also trending upwards, from 22.5pc in EU27 and 22.3pc in the euro area in February 2012 to 23.5pc and 23.9pc respectively in February 2013.