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April, 2009 Issue Prepared by the UNECE Statistical Division, the UNECE Facts and Figures articles are based on data from the UNECE Statistical Database. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unemployment rates leaped by the end 2008 across the UNECE region
30 April 2009
As the economic downturn steepened, unemployment leaped sharply in a number of UNECE countries during the last months of 2008.
The available data for January 2009 signal that the rise in unemployment rates is catching up in the rest of the region as well. Reported figures for Belarus and a few other CIS countries might be seen as an exception, but they refer to registered unemployment only.
In Spain, Turkey, Latvia and Estonia – countries with the highest unemployment rates depicted in the chart - the rates for December 2008 were three to four percentage points higher than the annual average for 2008, and five to six percentage points up from December 2007. The increase in unemployment was important also in Lithuania, Ireland, the Russian Federation and the United States.
For the Euro area, the rise in unemployment was less sharp by end-2008, due in part to some ad-hoc measures to temporarily restrict or postpone layoffs in Germany and France; but this, most likely, just lengthened the lag between the tumbling of industrial production and its damaging impact on labour markets. In January 2009, Germany’s unemployment rate went up to 8.3 % (according to the Federal Labour Agency), and in France the number of jobseekers rose by more than 4 % if compared to December 2008.
* Registered unemployment instead of Labour force survey data.
Source: UNECE Statistical database