Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Unemployment rate, total

Indicator definition

The unemployment rate represents the ratio between unemployed workers in relation to the total labour force. This indicator gives the overall unemployment rate

Indicator importance

This indicator measures the quality and performance of regional labour markets. it constituets a contextual indicator important to assess regional flexibility as well as sustainability of local economic activities.


In 2005, serious unemployment could be found first of all in Poland, Slovakia and East- Germany. Over 10% unemployment was also in Southern Spain, southern Italy, Finnish periphery, Bulgaria and Greece. 2006-2007 the employment situation improved all over the ESPON area, except East Germany and Spain. Especially the situation in Poland improved. High unemployment started to spread to the north in Spain from 2008. In 2009, Spain, Ireland, the Baltic States were hit severely, the situation worsened in Turkey, too.

In BSR, the biggest change in unemployment pattern has been improving in Poland and worsening in the Baltic States. Finnish periphery and East Germany have remained areas of remarkable unemployment through all the period.

A difference of 100% and more existed along the Norwegian and Belarus external borders, but also in a few sections around prosperous metropolitan regions of Warszawa and Copenhagen. Elsewhere the differences have been less. However, unemployment was spread more evenly in the Nordic countries, but the situation was more mosaic in the Baltic States, Poland and Germany