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In the three months between July and September last year the numbers of both unemployed and employed people in the European Union were unchanged from the previous three months at just over 23 million and 221 million respectively. However, compared to July-September 2009 unemployment rose by 4.2%. The unemployment rate stood at 9.3% and, for the first time since the economic crisis started, the increase was greater among women, leaving the female rate 0.2% higher than the male. Variations between countries remain great with Spain bottom of the league of Member States at 19.8%, just below Latvia on 18%. Tiny Luxembourg had the least unemployed, a rate of 3.9%, followed by the Netherlands on 4.3%. 20.5% of people aged between 15 and 24 were unemployed. Although the number of employed people fell over this period, those working part time increased so that they represented 19% of the total, for women the share was 31.5% and for men 8.7%. There are some statistics that point to an improvement in the labour market with, for instance, those people who had found a job in the past three months increasing from 0.5% to 4.7% between September 2009 and the same month last year but we will need more recent figures to confirm any upturn.
Eurostat eGovernment survey gives top marks to 6 Member States
The online availability of a basket of 20 basic public services, such as car registration, tax declaration or registration of a new company, across Europe reached 82% in 2010, substantially higher than in 2009 when it stood at 69%. The best performers are Austria, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Sweden where the entire list was fully online. Public authorities in Bulgaria, Italy and Latvia showed a big improvement during the last year in making services available online but Greece still lags in e-government having slipped to last place. More than 10,000 web sites were sampled for the Eurostat survey including local as well as national government.