April 1, 2014 / 9:12 AM / 4 years ago

Euro zone unemployment rate stable in February

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Unemployment in the euro zone declined slightly in February, although the rate remained at 11.9 percent after downward revisions of the past few months, the European statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday.

People wait for an employment office to open in Badalona, near Barcelona, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Eurostat said in a statement that 18.97 million people in the 18-country euro zone were unemployed in February, a decrease of about 35,000 from last month.

This equated to a rate of 11.9 percent, the same as in January. Eurostat, which had initially reported a figure in January of 12.0 percent, said the rate had been stable since October 2013.

Unemployment eased slightly in Spain to 25.6 percent from 25.8 percent, while France, Italy and the Netherlands saw minor increases in the number of unemployed people.

For job seekers under the age of 25, the situation improved in February, with a youth unemployment rate of 23.5 percent in the euro zone from 23.6 percent in January.

The number improved most markedly in Austria and Spain, while those under the age of 25 seeking jobs in Portugal increased from the previous month.

In the 28-member European Union, overall unemployment decreased to 10.6 percent in February from 10.7 percent in January.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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