NICOSIA Cyprus recorded in March the second highest unemployment increase in the EU.
According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, compared with March 2012, the unemployment rate increased in nineteen member states and fell in eight.
The highest increases were recorded in Greece (21.5% to 27.2% between January 2012 and January 2013), Cyprus (10.7% to 14.2%), Spain (24.1% to 26.7%) and Portugal (15.1% to 17.5%).
The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.6% to 14.3% between the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2012), Estonia (10.6% to 9.4% between February 2012 and February 2013) and Ireland (15.0% to 14.1%).
The euro area (EA17) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1 % in March 2013, up from 12.0% in February. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.9 % and remained stable compared with February.
In both zones, rates have risen compared with March 2012, when they were 11.0% and 10.3% respectively.
Twenty six million 521 thousand men and women in the EU27, of whom 19.211 million in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2013. Compared with February 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 69,000 in the EU27 and by 62,000 in the euro area
Compared with March 2012, unemployment rose by 1.814 million in the EU27and by 1.723 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.7%), Germany (5.4%) and Luxembourg (5.7%), and the highest in Greece (27.2% in January), Spain (26.7%) and Portugal (17.5%)