Statistics Explained

Glossary:Unemployment

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An unemployed person is defined by Eurostat, according to the guidelines of the International Labour Organization, as:

  • someone aged 15 to 74 (16 to 74 years in some EU Member States);
  • not employed during the reference week according to the definition of employment;
  • currently available for work, i.e. available for paid employment or self-employment before the end of the 2 weeks following the reference week;
  • actively seeking work, i.e. had either carried out activities in the four-week period ending with the reference week to seek paid employment or self-employment or found a job to start within a period of at most 3 months from the end of the reference week.

The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.

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