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Unemployment decreasing in most UNECE countries

A majority of the 53 UNECE member countries reported a decrease in the unemployment rate in 2015. The average unemployment rate in the UNECE region in 2015 was 8.8 per cent, which is 1.1 percentage points lower than in 2014 (9.9 per cent) and 1.7 percentage points less than in 2013 (10.5 per cent). 

The highest unemployment rates in Europe in 2015 were recorded in Spain, Croatia and Cyprus: 22.1 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 15.6 per cent, respectively. While still high, the unemployment rate in Spain has fallen steadily from 26.1 per cent in 2013 to 24.5 per cent the year after and 22.1 per cent in 2015. 

Unemployment rates have remained relatively low in Central Europe and North America. The lowest unemployment rates were in Iceland, Norway and Germany: 4 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively. In Germany, the unemployment rate decreased from 5.2 per cent to 4.6 per cent over the three-year period. In the USA, the unemployment rate fell from 7,2 per cent in 2013 to 6.2 per cent in 2014 and 5.3 per cent in 2015. 

Most Eastern European countries experienced a decrease in the unemployment rate. However, a few countries went against the trend. For example, in Ukraine, the unemployment rate went up from 7.2 per cent in 2013 to 9.1 per cent in 2015.