Youth unemployment fell in 2021 in the European Union (EU), from 13.3% to 13% last year. The highest youth unemployment rates are found in southern Europe, with Portugal standing at 15.9%, above the EU average, according to data released by Eurostat.

The number of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 who were unemployed increased in the first year of the pandemic, but ended up falling in the second, more than the general unemployment rate.

Looking at EU countries, it is possible to see that the highest youth unemployment rates were concentrated in the south: there were 23 regions where 30.0% or more of the 15-29 year old workforce was unemployed. The highest values ​​were recorded in mostly peripheral or remote regions: Autonomous City of Ceuta (56.0%) and Autonomous City of Melilla (41.9%) (both in Spain), Eastern Macedonia, Thrace (45.1% ) and West Macedonia (42.3%) (in Greece), Mayotte (43.0%) in France and Sicily (40.1%) in Italy.

Portugal also has higher than average unemployment among young people. It is 15.9% for the whole country, and among the regions, Madeira has the highest rate (21.1%), followed by the Algarve (19.4%) and the Azores (17.2%). In the Lisbon Metropolitan Area the rate is 16.1%, while in the other regions of the country it is around 15%.

On the other hand, the lowest youth unemployment rates in 2021 were recorded in the eastern regions of the EU: four regions in the Czech Republic (such as Jihozápad, which had the lowest rate among NUTS level 2 regions at 3.7% ), three regions in Hungary (including Budapest (4.8%) and Wielkopolskie (4.0%) in Poland.