methods, notes and classification Harmonised unemployment (1 000) - monthly data methods, notes and classification



Eurostatistics - Data for short-term economic analysis - Issue number 01/2014

Eurostatistics - Data for short-term economic analysis - shows the evolution of the economic activity in the European Union, euro area and Member States. This monthly review gives a synthetic picture of the macroeconomic situation in the recent past. It is based on Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs), complemented by some business cycle indicators.

Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) Status Report

PEEIs represent a comprehensive set of infra-annual macro economic statistics aiming to describe the economic and labour market situation as well as price developments in the euro area and the European Union, which are of particularly high importance for economic and monetary policy.

The communication of the Commission to the European parliament and the Council on Eurozone statistics “Towards improved methodologies for Eurozone statistics and indicators” of November 2002 has defined the list of PEEIs and their timeliness targets.

Since 2002, achieved progress and remaining challenges have been constantly monitored. Each year Eurostat, in cooperation with the European Central Bank, drafts a Status Report on Information Requirements in the European monetary union (EMU) which is first submitted to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) and then to the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).


The Euro-Indicators section provides general economic information on the euro area, European Union and individual Member States.

It is aimed primarily at specialised users, such as official statisticians and economists, academics, researchers and journalists, but also contains useful information for students and the general public. The section contains:

* Data structured as predefined tables and a large macro-economic database  
* Eurostat and DG ECFIN news releases together with their annual release calendar  
* Official Eurostat statistical publications  
* Euro-Indicators working papers and Euro-Indicators online publications  
* Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) Status Report   

All themes

This section contains monthly and quarterly macroeconomic indicators for the euro area, European Union and individual Member States. Data are presented on the basis of the most relevant economic classification, different price evaluations and elaborations, such as seasonal adjustment. Data are structured on 8 main themes presented below and can be accessed either via predefined tables or database consultation.

Balance of payments

The Balance of Payments (BoP) systematically summarises all economic transactions between the residents and the non-residents of a country or of a geographical region during a given period.

The Balance of payments provides harmonised information on international transactions which are part of the current account (goods, services, income, current transfers), but also on transactions which fall in the capital and in the financial account. Learn more.

Balance of Payment statistics consist of a set of key macro-economic indicators commonly used for political and analytical proposes. In this section, data are presented only at current prices. Euro area Balance of Payment data are available on a monthly basis and European Union and Member State data are only available on a quarterly basis.


Balance of Payment (BoP) data for the EU are produced in accordance with the Regulation n°184/2005 of The European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 on Community statistics concerning balance of payments, international trade in services and foreign direct investment bop_regulation.pdf (OJ L35/23 of 8/02/2005).

In the compilation of BoP, responsibility is shared between Eurostat and the ECB. Eurostat focuses on quarterly and annual aggregates of the EU27 and on detailed ITS (International Trade in Services) data also for the euro area, whereas the European Central Bank (ECB) is in charge of compiling and disseminating the euro area monthly and quarterly balance of payments statistics.

The methodological framework followed in the compilation of the Balance of Payments is that defined in the fifth edition of the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5).

Methodological notes regarding the compilation of the Balance of Payments of the European Union are available in the Balance of Payments metadata files.

Business and consumer surveys

Business and consumer surveys supply a wide range of information on current economic activity and its perspectives based on the opinion of economic actors, such as entrepreneurs and consumers.

Business and consumer surveys are based on the Joint Harmonised EU Programme Commission Decision of 15 July 1997 (C(97) 2241).

They cover the following domains: industry, services, retail trade, building and consumers. Moreover, synthetic indicators such as confidence indicators and economic sentiment indicators are also presented.

Data are generally presented as balances between the percentage of positive and negative answers to each questions. They are available both as non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted data using the DAINTIES method. Learn more.

Business and consumer surveys are essentially used in business cycle analysis to forecast quantitative variables, to construct synthetic leading and coincident indicators as well as for cyclical diagnostics and turning point detection.


Business and Consumer Surveys (BCSs) are compiled in accordance with the framework of the Joint Harmonised EU Programme Commission Decision of 15 July 1997 (C(97) 2241) and the Communication to the European Parliament and the Social and Economic Committee on the Programme in November 2000 (see COM (2000) 770).

Consumer prices

Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) are economic indicators constructed to measure the changes over time in the prices of consumer goods and services acquired, used or paid for by households. Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) are designed for international comparisons of consumer price inflation. They are used in the assessment of inflation convergence as required under Article 121 of the Treaty of Amsterdam (Article 109j of the Treaty on European Union).

They are broken down by category of consumption expenditure on the basis of the COICOP/HICP nomenclature. Moreover, some Special Aggregates are also available for example indices covering goods, services, energy, or excluding some components as energy and unprocessed food etc. HICP data are computed on the basis of a chained Laspeyres formula and they are presented in index form with reference year 2005=100. Various kinds of inflation rates of change (monthly, annual and annual averages) are also available.

HICP data is one of the key variables for euro area monetary policy. Currently, the ECB has defined price stability to mean an annual rate of increase of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) of below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term.

Consumer prices

Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) are designed for international comparisons of consumer price inflation. They are used in the assessment of inflation convergence as required under Article 121 of the Treaty of Amsterdam (Article 109j of the Treaty on European Union). Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 sets the legal basis for establishing a harmonized methodology for the compilation of the HICPs. All the regulations as well as further methodological details can be found following the link: Compendium of HICP reference documents.

The MUICP is used by, among others, the European Central Bank (ECB) as a main indicator for monetary policy management for the euro area; see the ECB press release.

International trade

Extra-EU trade statistics cover the trading of goods between a Member State and a non-member country. Intra-EU trade statistics cover the trading of goods between Member States. The International trade Euro-Indicators are published for the euro area and its 17 Member States as well as for the European Union and its 27 Member States. They refer only to the extra-zone trade (i.e. the extra-euro area and extra-EU trade).

International trade statistics are broken down by major product groups defined on the basis of the BEC (Broad Economic Categories) classification: capital goods, intermediate goods and consumption goods (including or not motor spirit and passenger motor cars). Learn more.

The available indicators are the following: - Gross and seasonally adjusted trade value (in million euro) - Unit value indices - Gross and seasonally adjusted volume indices - Growth rates of trade values and indices

External trade statistics are an important data source for many public and private sector decision-makers at international, European Union and national level. For example, at the European Union level, external trade data are extensively used for multilateral and bilateral negotiations within the framework of the common commercial policy, to define and implement anti-dumping policy, to evaluate the progress of the Single Market and many other policies. Moreover, they constitute an essential source for the compilation of balance of payments statistics and national accounts.


Statistics relating to the trading of goods by the Community and its Member States with non-member countries are based on Council Regulation N° 1172/95 (consolidated version) and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1917/2000.

More information on coverage, periodicity, timeliness and quality of data can be found in the Euroindicators metadata:

A complete pool of texts regarding Community legislation in the field of external trade statistics is published by Eurostat and all legal texts of the Community are accessible on

Industry, trade and services

Industry, trade and services contains information on a wide range of activity indicators (available either on a monthly or quarterly basis) such as production, turnover, output prices, new orders and labour utilisation and remuneration. This heading covers indicator activities on industry, construction and retail trade. Data are broken down according to both NACE Rev.2 (Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community) and MIGS (Main Industrial Groupings) classifications.

Data are compiled on the basis of the fixed base year Laspeyres formula. The current base year 2005=100. Percentage changes to display the temporal dynamic of each aggregate are also available.

Data are presented both as non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted. A trading day correction is also used for some variables, such as the industrial production index. Seasonally adjusted data produced by Member States are presented here whenever available. Otherwise, data are seasonally adjusted by Eurostat using the TRAMO/SEATS method. European aggregates are compiled by aggregating non-seasonally adjusted data. Seasonally adjusted data are obtained by direct seasonal adjustment of the total. Moreover, energy statistics and some auxiliary indicators are also presented. Learn more.

Figures presented in this section are extensively used in business cycle analysis. In particular, the industrial production index has, for many years, been the reference series for the cyclical assessment and turning point dating and detection. Moreover several variables of this dataset are very useful in the calculation of leading indicators and to anticipate future movements of the economy due to their leading capacity. Examples of such variables are the new orders index or the index of building permits. Finally, this dataset is also used in the compilation of macroeconomic statistics, such as the quarterly national accounts.


The legal basis for the Industry, Trade and Services indicators is the Council Regulation N° 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics STS-Regulation

Information on coverage, periodicity, timeliness and quality of data can be found in the Euroindicators metadata:

The definitions of short-term statistics variables are laid down in Commission Regulation N° 588/2001 of 26 March 2001 implementing Council Regulation N° 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics as regards the definition of variables.

The classification by the main industrial groupings (MIGS) is laid down in Commission Regulation N° 586/2001 of 26 March 2001 on implementing Council Regulation N° 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics as regards the definition of Main Industrial Groupings.

Information on new car registrations is not included in the Regulation .The information is obtained from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA - Association de Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles)

Labour market

Labour market data contains information on harmonised unemployment and measures of the cost pressures arising from the production factor "labour".

According to the ILO (International Labour Office) definition, unemployed persons are all persons 15 to 74 years of age who were not employed during the reference week, had actively sought work during the past four weeks and were ready to begin working immediately or within two weeks.

The unemployment rate is the share of unemployed persons of the total number of active persons in the labour market. Active persons (active population) are those who are either employed or unemployed. Data is broken down by sex and age. Data are presented in thousand of persons and by rate (unemployment rate). Moreover percentage changes to show the evolution of this aggregate are presented.

Data is presented both non-seasonally and seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data are, with a very few exceptions, compiled by Eurostat for the member states. For European totals both non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted figures are obtained by the aggregating of the corresponding national data.

The quarterly Labour Cost Index (LCI) is an indicator which measures the cost pressure arising from the production factor "labour". The data covered in the LCI relate to total average hourly labour costs (with and without bonuses) and to the labour cost categories "wages and salaries" and "employers’ social security contributions plus taxes paid minus subsidies received by the employer". Data is broken down by cost items and by economic activity. Data is computed on the basis of the chained Laspeyres formula and is presented with the reference year 2000=100. Data are available both in nominal and real terms. Percentage changes are also available.

Labour cost index statistics are available as both non-seasonally working days adjusted and seasonally and working days adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data are provided by Member States. European totals are obtained by aggregation of non-seasonally adjusted working days adjusted from member states. Seasonally and working days adjusted totals are obtained by a direct seasonal adjustment of the seasonal totals. The seasonal adjustment is performed using TRAMO/SEATS.

Labour market data comprise a key set of indicators for the assessment of the cyclical situation and for macroeconomic and social policy making. Both the employment and labour cost indices play an essential role in the compilation of key indicators for the analysis of long-term economic equilibria and the movements around it, such as the NAIRU (non accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) and Phillips curve (the relationship between inflation and unemployment).


The main source for the quarterly unemployment statistics is the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS). The EU LFS is governed by legislative acts of the Council and Parliament, as well as the Commission for implementation. The principal legislation is the Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 of 9 March 1998 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey in the Community (OJ No L 77/3).

Eurostat is complementing this quarterly data with the monthly indicator of the national unemployment delivered from the Member States as a result of a gentlemen's agreement.

Labour cost components and their elements are defined in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1726/1999 of 27 July 1999 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 530/1999.

The definition of hours worked can be found in Annex A, Chapter 11, to Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/1996 of 25 June 1996 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community.

All European Union's legislative acts can be found on the portal to European Union law: EUR-Lex.

The Conventional Earnings Indices are based on gentlemen’s agreements.

Information on coverage, periodicity, timeliness, quality of unemployment data, and methodological issues can be found in the Euroindicators metadata:

More information related to labour cost can be found on the EU LFS webpage, in particular LFS Publications on methods, results and quality.

Monetary and Financial indicators

Monetary and Financial indicators include information on money supply, interest rates, bond yields, exchange rates, stock market capitalisation, share price indices and official foreign reserves. Aggregates in this section are compiled either by the European Central Bank or Eurostat.

Figures in this section are presented in nominal terms with the exception of the interest and exchanges rates, where some real measures are also available. Data are presented on different units according to their specificities.

All figures are presented as non-seasonally adjusted, with the exception of monetary aggregates, which are also presented as seasonally adjusted.

Monetary and financial indicators give a good picture of the monetary side behaviour of the economy. They are largely used for the construction of econometrics models and leading indicators as well as in multivariate business cycle analysis.


The Monetary and Financial Indicators consists of a collection of indicators published from different sources, such as the European Central Bank, the European National Central Banks, the European Commission DG ECFIN, the World Federation of Exchanges and FESE (Federation of European Stock Exchanges), the International Monetary Fund, or directly collected on the markets.

Data cover monetary aggregates, interest rates, exchange rates statistics, banking statistics and financial indicators.

National accounts

The dataset presented here is mainly related to quarterly national accounts.

Coverage: GDP and main components according to the output side (industry breakdown according to the NACE Rev2 one letter classification), the expenditure side, the income side and employment national accounts data.

Data is presented both in current and constant prices (whenever they can be computed), and in thousands of persons. Price indices are also available. Growth rates are presented in order to show the evolution of the main macroeconomic aggregates over time.

Data are available both unadjusted and seasonally adjusted and working day corrected. National data are seasonally adjusted according to national adjustment procedures performed by Member States. European totals are the result of an aggregation/estimation process based on the corresponding national figures. The dataset is complemented by a small set of annual indicators on GDP and government debt and deficit and main aggregates of national accounts. Learn more.

National accounts are a coherent and consistent set of macroeconomic indicators, providing an overall picture of the economic situation. They are largely used for economic analysis and forecasting, policy design and policy making. National accounts data are often used as a reference variable in the construction of leading and coincident indicators. They are also involved in the compilation of potential output, output gap and other relevant long term and short term measures. National accounts data are also used to asses the convergence and synchronisation of economic fluctuation among Member States. Finally national accounts data play a key role in the monitoring of national policies with respect to the Growth and Stability Pact and Maastricht criteria.


National accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts - ESA 1995 (Regulation 2223/96 of the European Council, available on EUR-Lex).

Definitions, methods and accountings conventions can be found in the ESA95 which includes legal amendments and presents a consolidated version for the convenience of readers. Specifics aspects related to quarterly national accounts and explanations on methodology can be found in Eurostat's "Handbook on quarterly national account".

Specifics aspects of public finance data are treated in:

More information about concepts, definitions and classifications, data coverage, the dissemination policy and the compilation practices for European aggregates and seasonal adjustment can be found in the Euroindicators metadata files or in the quarterly and annual national account metadata files available on Eurostat site.

DATA_DESCR TheáUnemployment - LFS adjusted series (including also Harmonised long-term unemployment) is a collection of monthly, quarterly and annual series based on the quarterly results of the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), which are, where necessary, adjusted and enriched in various ways, in accordance with the specificities of an indicator. Harmonised unemployment is published in the section 'LFS main indicators', which is a collection of the main statistics on the labour market. However the harmonized unemployment indicators are calculated with special methods and periodicity which justify the present page. This page focuses on the particularities of the estimation of harmonised unemployment (including unemployment rates). Other information on 'LFS main indicators' can be found in the respective ESMS page, see link in section 21.2. General information on the EU-LFS can be found in the ESMS page for 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.ááDetailed informationáon the main features, the legal basis, the methodology and the data as well as on the historical development of the EU-LFS is available on the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

CLASS_SYSTEM See une_esms

STAT_CONC_DEF See une_esms


STAT_POP See une_esms

REF_AREA European Union, Euro area, EU Member States, Candidate Countries, Norway, USA and Japan. Data for Cyprus refer only to the areas of Cyprus controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Data for France do not include the overseas departments (DOM). Data for USA and Japan are also disseminated.

BASE_PER Not applicable

UNIT_MEASURE Data are expressed in unemployment rates (see definition above in section 3.4) and thousands of persons.

    • Unit of measure
      • 0 Thousand persons
    • Seasonal adjustment
      • 0 Unadjusted data (i.e. neither seasonally adjusted nor calendar adjusted data)
      • 1 Seasonally adjusted data, not calendar adjusted data
    • Indicator
      • 0 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Total
      • 1 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Males
      • 2 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Females
      • 3 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Under 25 years - Total
      • 4 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Under 25 years - Males
      • 5 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Under 25 years - Females
      • 6 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Over 25 years - Total
      • 7 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Over 25 years - Males
      • 8 Unemployment according to ILO definition - Over 25 years - Females
    • Geopolitical entity (reporting)
      • 00 Euro area (EA11-1999, EA12-2001, EA13-2007, EA15-2008, EA16-2009, EA17-2011, EA18-2014, EA19-2015)
      • 01 Euro area - 19 countries (from 2015)
      • 02 Euro area - 18 countries (2014)
      • 03 European Union - 27 countries (from 2020)
      • 04 European Union - 28 countries (2013-2020)
      • 05 European Union - 27 countries (2007-2013)
      • 06 Belgium
      • 07 Bulgaria
      • 08 Czechia
      • 09 Denmark
      • 0a Germany (until 1990 former territory of the FRG)
      • 0b Estonia
      • 0c Ireland
      • 0d Greece
      • 0e Spain
      • 0f France
      • 0g Croatia
      • 0h Italy
      • 0i Cyprus
      • 0j Latvia
      • 0k Lithuania
      • 0l Luxembourg
      • 0m Hungary
      • 0n Malta
      • 0o Netherlands
      • 0p Austria
      • 0q Poland
      • 0r Portugal
      • 0s Romania
      • 0t Slovenia
      • 0u Slovakia
      • 0v Finland
      • 0w Sweden
      • 0x Iceland
      • 0y Norway
      • 0z Switzerland
      • 10 United Kingdom
      • 11 Turkey
      • 12 United States
      • 13 Japan