The Top 5 European Countries with the Highest Unemployment

  Country Total Unemployment Youth Unemployment
1 Greece 27.3% 57.3%
2 Spain 26.1% 54.9%
3 Croatia 17.2% 48.6%
4 Portugal 16.5% 34.8%
5 Cyprus 15.9% 40.8%
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 Facts
  1. One in three workers in the world labour force is currently either unemployed or poor. That is, out of a global labour force of 3.3 billion, 200 million are unemployed and a further 900 million are living with their families below the US$2 a day poverty line. The situation is especially desperate for the world’s youth: 75 million young people around the world are unemployed, with the highest youth unemployment rates observed in precisely those regions of the world facing the fastest growth in the labour force. (a.)
  2. The baseline projection shows no change in the global unemployment rate between 2012 and 2016, remaining at 6 per cent of the global labour force. This would lead to an additional 3 million unemployed around the world in 2012, or a total of 200 million, rising to 206 million by 2016. (a.)
  3. As of 2011 the following austerity measures were taken in Spain: Cut in public sector jobs (13,000 jobs) and pay (salary cuts of 5 per cent for civil servants and of up to 15 per cent for ministers and mayors); introduction of new income tax; scrapping of newborn benefits; reduction in public investments by €6 billion; cuts in public pensions; sale of public sector assets: one-third of public enterprises shall be closed or sold off. Spain has also introduced sweeping labour reforms as of February 2012. (a.)
  4. As of 2011 the following austerity measures were taken in Greece: Elimination of tax exemptions; increase in property taxes; higher excise tax on cigarettes and alcohol; higher tax on mobile telephones and petrol; special levy on profitable firms and on high-value real estate; 10 per cent reduction in general government expenditure on salary allowances; public sector recruitment freeze in 2010 and partial replacement of retiring civil servants; reduction in operating costs and subsidies for pension funds; significant reduction in the number of public sector special committees; amalgamation and drastic reduction in the number of the public bodies/entities linked to local authorities. (a.)
  5. In 2011, 74.8 million youth aged 15–24 were unemployed, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent, remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level. Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. In this light, the increase in social unrest in many countries and regions around the world is of little surprise. In the Middle East and North Africa regions, for example, youth are around four times as likely as adults to be unemployed, with youth unemployment rates well in excess of 25 per cent in both regions. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. International Labour Force. (2012). "Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a Deeper Jobs Crisis". Retrieved February 17th, 2012.
Tags: Top 5 Highest, Europe, Spain

Sources:  Eurostat: 2015

List Notes: Data is top 5 European Countries with the highest percent unemployment in the European Union as of the year 2013 (latest available data as of January 27th, 2015). The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force is the total number of people employed and unemployed. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 (youth unemployment: 15 to 29) who: - are without work during the reference week; - are available to start work within the next two weeks; - and have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks or had already found a job to start within the next three months.
European Countries with the Highest Unemployment

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