In 2021, when measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic remained in place across the EU, the unemployment rate of people aged 15-74 continued to vary widely across the EU’s NUTS 2 regions. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Polish region of Warsaw-Capital and the Hungarian region of Central Transdanubia (both 2.1%), followed by the Polish region Wielkopolskie, the Hungarian region of West Transdanubia and the Czech region of Central Moravia (all three 2.2%), as well as the Czech region of Prague and the Polish region of Pomorskie (both 2.3%). The Czech regions of South-West, South-East and North-East (all three 2.4%) were also among the top 10 regions with the lowest unemployment rates.
At the opposite end of the scale, the highest unemployment rates were registered in the Spanish regions of Ceuta (26.6%), Canary Islands (23.2%) and Andalusia (21.7%), followed by West Macedonia in Greece (19.8%) and two further Spanish regions: Melilla (19.8%) and Extremadura (19.5%). The remaining top 10 regions with the highest unemployment were Campania (19.3%) and Sicily (18.7%) in Italy as well as South Aegean (18.8%) and East Macedonia, Thrace (18.5%) in Greece, EUrostat reports.
Compared with 2020, the highest increases in the unemployment rate were registered in the Romanian regions of North-East and South-West Oltenia (both +3.1 percentage points (pp)) and in the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon (+2.2 pp). By contrast, the highest decreases were in Western Greece (-5.8 pp), the Bulgarian region of North-West (-4.4 pp) and the Greek region of Epirus (-4.2 pp).
Youth unemployment rates higher in Spanish, Greek and Italian regions
In 2021 the EU average unemployment rate for young people aged between 15 and 29 was 13.0%, a 0.9 pp decrease compared with 2020.
However, there are marked regional differences in the unemployment rates for young people. The lowest rates were recorded in the Czech region South-West (3.7%), the Polish region of Wielkopolskie (4.0%) and the Czech region of Central Moravia (4.4%). In contrast, the highest rate was recorded in the Spanish region of Ceuta (56.0%), followed by the Greek regions of East Macedonia, Thrace (45.1%) and West Macedonia (42.3%), as well as the Spanish region of Melilla (41.9%).
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