This paper investigates unemployment persistence in the 27 EU member states by applying fractional integration methods to quarterly data (both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted) from 2000q1 to 2020q4. The obtained evidence points to high levels of persistence in all cases. With seasonally adjusted data, a small degree of mean reversion is found in the case of Belgium, Luxembourg and Malta, but this evidence disappears under the assumption of weakly correlated disturbances. More cases of mean reversion are found instead when analysing the unadjusted series. In particular, countries such as Belgium, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg and Malta display orders of integration significantly lower than 1. In addition, significant negative time trends are found in the case of Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta and Romania, and a positive one for Luxembourg. Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic had mixed effects, with (seasonal) persistence increasing in some countries whilst decreasing in others and not changing in a minority of cases. On the whole, our results support the hysteresis hypothesis for the European economies.