The youth (people aged 15–29 years) unemployment rate in the European Union fell to 13.0% in 2021, from 13.3% in 2020, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union.
In Cyprus, which is considered a single NUTS 2 region for statistics purposes, youth unemployment in 2021 rose to 14.2%, above the EU average, from 13.3% in 2020.
Overall unemployment in Cyprus fell slightly to 7.5% in 2021, remaining a little higher than the EU average. In 2020, overall unemployment in the country stood at 7.6%.
The COVID-19 crisis and its associated measures disproportionately impacted young people in terms of unemployment, especially in 2020, when the youth unemployment rate in the EU rose 1.4 percentage points (pp) while the overall unemployment rate increased by 0.4 pp, but then youth unemployment decreased slightly more in 2021 (-0.3 pp compared with 2020) than the overall unemployment rate (-0.1 pp, from 7.1% in 2020 to 7.0% in 2021).
Excluding regions for which the data refer to 2019 (e.g. most regions of Germany), the lowest youth unemployment rates in 2021 were recorded in eastern regions of the EU.
These were four regions in Czechia (including Jihozápad which had the lowest rate among NUTS level 2 regions at 3.7%), 3 regions in Hungary (including the capital region of Budapest at 4.8%), and Wielkopolskie (at 4.0%) in Poland.
High youth unemployment rates were concentrated in southern Europe. There were 23 regions where 30.0% or more of the labor force aged 15–29 years was unemployed.
At the top end of the range, there were 6, largely peripheral or remote regions, where the youth unemployment rate was higher than 40%: Ciudade Autónoma de Ceuta (56.0%) and Ciudade Autónoma de Melilla (41.9%) (both in Spain), Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki (45.1%) and Dytiki Makedonia (42.3%) (all in Greece), Mayotte (43.0%) in France and Sicilia (40.1%) in Italy.
The youth unemployment rate is almost twice as high as the overall rate
The EU’s youth unemployment rate (13.0%) was almost twice as high as the overall unemployment rate (7.0%) in 2021 and higher than the overall unemployment rate (for people aged 15–74 years) in each of the 192 NUTS level 2 regions for which data are available.
In close to half (46.4%) of these 192 regions, the youth unemployment rate was at least twice as high as the overall unemployment rate. The highest ratio between these two rates was recorded in Vest in Romania, where the youth unemployment rate was 3.5 times as high as the overall unemployment rate, while relatively high ratios (2.8 or 2.9 times as high) were recorded in Basilicata and Molise in southern Italy and Prov. Vlaams-Brabant in Belgium.
Highest overall unemployment rates recorded in southern Europe
Regarding the overall unemployment rate across NUTS level 2 regions, in 2021, the highest unemployment rates were recorded in southern and outermost regions of the EU: regional unemployment rates of at least 14.5 % were recorded in nine of the 13 regions from Greece (the exceptions being the capital region of Attiki, Peloponnisos, Ionia Nisia and Voreio Aigaio), eight regions from Spain, four of the outermost regions of France, and four regions from the southern half of Italy.
The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Střední Morava and Praha in Czechia; Közép-Dunántúl and Nyugat-Dunántúl in Hungary; Warszawski stołeczny, Wielkopolskie and Pomorskie in Poland, all with an unemployment rate within the range of 2.1–2.3%.