The European Union is in the midst of its worst recession since the Second World War. Recent data show that EU labour markets are continuing to decline, job reductions are still being announced and more are expected in the future. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, estimates that 23.264 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 16.198 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in September 2011. Compared with September 2010, unemployment increased by 215 000 in the EU27 and by 329 000 in the euro area. In September 2011 the unemployment rate in the euro area was 10.2% and the EU27 unemployment rate was 9.7%.