The article analyses changes in the regional variability of unemployment rates resulting from the global crisis, at the NUTS 3 and LAU 1 levels in the new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe. Although the coefficient of variation, the Gini coefficient and the Theil index each show a clear tendency towards convergence, in all of the states and at both of the scale levels observed, the range of variation has increased throughout the region, with the exception of the LAU 1 level in Hungary. The analysis therefore shows the ambiguous nature of the relationship between an economic crisis and the intensity of micro-regional differences or, rather, their dependence, owing to the nature and severity of the crisis as well as the statistical measures of variability. We found a number of mutual and contradictory tendencies concerning regional development during the global economic crisis in the observed countries. Based upon these findings, several groups of countries with similar changes in their regional pattern during the crisis have been identified.

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