Latvia tops EU unemployment

  • 2009-11-02
  • Oskars Magone

The Baltics are struggling to create new jobs and counter rising unemployment.

RIGA 's Recently released data fromEurostat 's the European Union's official statistics agency 's inSeptember Latvia's jobless rate became the highest in the EU at 19.7percent.

Latvia took the title of highestunemployment rate from Spain, which is now the second worst at 19.3percent. The other Baltic states follow Spain, with an unemploymentrate of 13.8 percent in Lithuania and 13.3 percent in Estonia.

Latvia also has the distinction ofhaving the largest increase in the jobless rate 's up from 8.1percent a year ago, an increase of 11.6 percent. Latvia is followedby Estonia, which saw its unemployment rate increase from 4.1 percentover the past year.

The highest level of joblessness was28.1 percent in Rezekne region, while the lowest was in Tukums at 9percent, the statistics agency reported.

The average unemployment rate in the EUnow stands at 9.7 percent 's 0.1 percent lower than in the UnitedStates. The bloc's top performer is the Netherlands, with a joblessrate of 3.6 percent, followed by Austria with 4.8 percent.

Eurostat said 22.12 million people in the EU were now out of work.