Unemployment numbers in the 17-nation euro area (EA17) were unchanged in April, but a slight increase was seen in the wider 27-country region, the European Union (EU) said on Friday.
The EA17 seasonally-adjusted jobless rate stood at 11 percent in April, unchanged compared with March, although it is up from the 9.9 percent in April 2011. Meanwhile, the EU27 unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in April, showing a slight 0.1 percent increase compared to the previous month. It was 9.5 percent in April 2011.
The report was released by the EU's statistical office, Eurostat, which estimated that approximately 102,000 people became unemployed in the EU27 last month while those unemployed in the euro area increased by 110,000.
Overall, Eurostat estimated that 24.7 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17.4 million were in the euro area, were unemployed last April. On a year-to-year basis, unemployment rose by 1.9 million in the EU27 and by 1.8 million in the euro area.
Among the EU Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (3.9 percent), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (both 5.2 percent) and Germany (5.4 percent). The highest rates were seen in Spain (24.3 percent), Greece (21.7 percent in February 2012), Latvia (15.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012) and Portugal (15.2 percent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in eleven Member States, increased in fifteen, and remained stable in Ireland.
The largest falls were observed in Estonia (13.6 percent to 10.8 percent between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012), Lithuania (16.0 percent to 13.8 percent) and Latvia (16.8 percent to 15.2 percent between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012). The highest increases were registered in Greece (15.2 percent to 21.7 percent between February 2011 and February 2012), Spain (20.7 percent to 24.3 percent) and Cyprus (7.1 percent to 10.1 percent).