Baltics still top unemployment chart

  • 2010-04-30
  • Oskars Magone

The Baltics have seen the largest increaese in unemployment rates over the past year of any EU country.

BRUSSELS -- The Baltics have seen the largest increase in unemployment over the past year in the entire European Union, according to a press release from eurostat, the EU's official statistics agency.

"The highest increases were registered in Latvia (14.3% to 22.3%), Estonia (7.6% to 15.5% between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009) and Lithuania (8.1% to 15.8% between the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009)," the press release said.

Germany was the only country in the EU that saw a decline in its unemployment rate which fell by 0.1 percent to 7.3 percent.

In addition to the dubious honor of having the largest increase in unemployment, Latvia for the seventh month in a row also has the highest overall unemployment rate. Spain is second with just over 19 percent, followed by the other two Baltic states.

The statistics agency found that the average unemployment rate in the EU was 9.6 percent, slightly lower than the eurozone average of 10.0 percent.

Unemployment rates in the EU have been steadily increasing since reaching a low point in the first quarter of 2008, when the average was just under 7 percent.