Unemployment in Bulgarian in December 2017 was 6.1 per cent, down from 6.7 per cent in December 2016 and again below the average for the European Union, according to figures released on January 31 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
In December 2016, about 217 000 people in Bulgaria were unemployed. A year later, this figure had fallen to about 209 000 people.
Bulgaria also was below the EU average for youth unemployment. While in December 2017, joblessness among under-25s in the bloc was 16.1 per cent, in Bulgaria the rate was 12.3 per cent.
In December 2016, youth unemployment in Bulgaria had been 14.9 per cent.
The euro zone (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7 per cent in December 2017, stable compared to November 2017 and down from 9.7 per cent in December 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro zone since January 2009.
The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent in December 2017, stable compared to November 2017 and down from 8.2 per cent in December 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since October 2008.
Among EU countries, the lowest unemployment rates in December 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (2.3 per cent), Malta and Germany (both 3.6 per cent).
The highest unemployment rates were in Greece (20.7 per cent in October 2017) and Spain (16.4 per cent).
Eurostat said that compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in all EU countries for which data is comparable over time, except in Finland where it remained stable.
The largest decreases were registered in Greece (from 23.3 per cent to 20.7 per cent between October 2016 and October 2017), Croatia (from 12.5 per cent to 10.0 per cent), Portugal (from 10.2 per cent to 7.8 per cent) and Spain (from 18.5 per cent to 16.4 per cent).
In December 2017, 3.654 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 2.574 million were in the euro zone.
Compared with December 2016, youth unemployment decreased by 411 000 in the EU28 and by 301 000 in the euro zone.
In December 2017, the youth unemployment rate was 16.1 per cent in the EU28 and 17.9 per cent in the euro zone, compared with 18.0 per cent and 20.3 per cent, respectively, in December 2016.
In December 2017, the lowest rates were observed in the Czech Republic (4.9 per cent), Germany (6.6 per cent) and Estonia (6.8 per cent in November 2017), while the highest were recorded in Greece (40.8 per cent in October 2017), Spain (36.8 per cent) and Italy (32.2 per cent), Eurostat said…/IBNA