Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Netherlands (2.8%), and the highest rates in Spain (17.4%), Latvia (16.1%) and Lithuania (15.5%).
Compared with a year ago, three Member States recorded a fall in their unemployment rate, twenty-three an increase and the rate remained stable in the Netherlands. The falls were observed in Romania (6.1% to 5.8% between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008), Bulgaria (6.1% to 5.9%) and Greece (7.9% to 7.8% between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008). The highest increases were registered in Lithuania (4.3% to 15.5%), Latvia (6.1% to 16.1%) and Spain (9.5% to 17.4%).
The unemployment rate for males rose from 6.5% to 8.6% between March 2008 and March 2009 in the euro area and from 6.2% to 8.3% in the EU27. The female unemployment rate increased from 8.2% to 9.2% in the euro area and from 7.3% to 8.3% in the EU27.
In March 2009, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 18.1% in the euro area and 18.3% in the EU27. In March 2008 it was 14.5% and 14.6% respectively. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (5.7%), and the highest rates in Spain (35.4%) and Latvia (29.3% in the first quarter of 2009).
In March 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.5% in the USA. In Japan it was 4.4% in February 2009.