UNEMPLOYMENT: JOBLESS RATE STATIC IN EURO-ZONE COUNTRIES, SLIGHTLY DOWN IN EU25.

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In May this year, the lowest rates were registered in Ireland (4.2%), Austria (4.6%), the United Kingdom (4.6% in March), Luxembourg (4.7%) and Denmark (4.9% in April). Unemployment rates were highest in Poland (17.8%), Slovakia (15.5%), Greece (10.2% in December 2004), Spain (9.9%) and France (9.8%).

Fourteen member states recorded a drop in their unemployment rate over a year, two remained stable and nine reported an increase. The largest relative decreases were observed in Lithuania (11.2% to 8.1%), Estonia (9.6% to 7.9%), Slovakia (18.7% to 15.5%) and Denmark (5.5% in April 2004 to 4.9% in April 2005), while Luxembourg (4.2% to 4.7%), Cyprus (4.6% to 5.1%) and Portugal (6.5% to 7.2%) registered the highest relative increases.

Between May 2004 and May 2005, the unemployment rate for males was stable at 7.6% in the euro-zone and fell from 8.1% to 7.9% in the EU25. The female unemployment rate...

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