The European Union’s unemployment rate rose to 6.6% in March, the bloc’s statistical office reported on Thursday.

The figure was up from 6.5% in the previous month, while it dropped from 6.9% in the same month last year, Eurostat said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was 7.4% in the euro area, the office said, rising from 7.3% in the previous month and decreasing from 7.7% in the same month of 2019.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.

It said 14.14 million people in the EU27, including 12.16 million in the euro area, were unemployed as of March.

The number of unemployed rose 241,000 on a monthly basis in the EU and 197,000 in EA19.

Czechia, the Netherlands and Poland posted the lowest unemployment rates with 2%, 2.9% and 3%, respectively, in the month.

The highest rates were seen in Greece with 16.4% in January (the latest data available), and in Spain with 14.5% in March.

Eurostat also said there were some 2.76 million unemployed young people — under 25 — in the EU27 in March, making for a 15.2% youth unemployment rate.

The EU’s statistical office also announced that the inflation rate is expected to reach 0.4% in the EA19 in April, down from 0.7% in March.

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