The unemployment rate in the European Union fell by 0.7% to 10.1% in 2014. In Belgium, while the unemployment rate remained stable at 8.5%, long-term unemployment went up by 3.9%. This was revealed by Eurostat, the European Union statistics office, on Wednesday. The overall unemployment rate for the regions in the European Union fell in 2014. However, there is still a large disparity between the different regions.
The top ten lowest unemployment rates were in Germany, except for one which was in the Prague region in the Czech Republic (2.5%). The regions most affected by unemployment were mainly in Spain, the unemployment rate in Andalusia being 34.8% for example, and Greece.
The proportion of long-term unemployment, which is the percentage of job seekers who have been without work for 12 months or more, went up by 2.1% in 2014, hitting 49.3% of unemployed people. Sweden had the lowest percentage of long-term unemployment (14.8% to 22% depending on the region), while Greece had the highest (44.6 to 77.3%).
In Belgium, the unemployment rate remained stable at 8.5% of the working age population. On the other hand, the overall long-term unemployment rate in the country went up slightly, with the exception of the Namur, Liège and Flemish Brabant provinces. It went up by 3.9% overall, and by 10% in the Luxemburg, Limburg and Eastern Flanders provinces.