The unemployment rate in the 27 member European Union was 9.7 percent in September, compared with 9.6 percent in August. The unemployment rate in the 17 European countries which use the euro, known as Euro area, was 10.2 percent in September, compared with 10.1 percent in August, according to figures relased Monday by Eurostatat, the EUs statistical office. Eurostat estimates that 23.264 million men and women in the EU, of whom 16. 198 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in September. Compared with August, the number of persons unemployed increased by 174,000 in the EU27 and by 188,000 in the euro area. Among EU member states , the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (3.9 percent), the Netherlands (4.5 percent) and Luxembourg (4.8 percent), and the highest in Spain (22.6 percent), Greece (17.6 percent) and Latvia (16.1 percent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in fourteen EU member states and increased in thirteen. In September, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in the USA and 4.3 percent in Japan, noted Eurostat.