BRUSSELS, 5th April, 2016 (WAM) : The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.3% in February 2016, down from 10.4% in January 2016, and from 11.2% in February 2015. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since August 2011.

The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.9% in February 2016, stable compared to January 2016, and down from 9.7% in February 2015.

This is the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since May 2009, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that 21.651 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 16.634 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2016. Compared with January 2016, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 59 000 in the EU28 and by 39 000 in the euro area. Compared with February 2015, unemployment fell by 1.971 million in the EU28 and by 1.303 million in the euro area.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “Our efforts to reduce unemployment are slowly but surely bearing fruit. This being said, work remains to be done and the Commission will continue to help Member States tackle this issue. Today the European Employers Days start and run until 15 April; and for the first time, they will take place in all Member States. The aim is to bring together Public Employment Services and employers to foster dialogue and promote employment policies. I am convinced that the active involvement of employers is key to helping reduce unemployment.”

WAM/tfaham