Unemployment in the euro zone was 12.2 percent in September, stubbornly stuck at a record high, signalling that the region's faltering economic recovery is yet to be felt in the job market.
The figure is unchanged from the previous month, according to revised data from European statistics agency, Eurostat. The number of people unemployed in the region increased by 60,000 in September to a total of 19.4 million.
By contrast, in September 2012 the jobless rate was 11.6 percent and 12.1 percent in July 2013 -- highlighting fears that the region's employment picture is deteriorating and could thwart a nascent economic recovery.
As the 17-country euro zone struggled to control its three-year crisis over too much debt, governments cut back on spending and introduced tax hikes. This had a damping effect on the region's economy, with a knock-on effect on job numbers. Although the region's economy is now starting to grow, it expanded by 0.3 percent in the second quarter, companies are still reluctant to hire.
The euro zone's lowest unemployment rates in September were recorded in Austria, 4.9 percent; Germany, 5.2 percent; and Luxembourg, 5.9 percent. The highest rates can be found in Greece (27.6 percent in July - the latest figures available) and Spain (26.6 percent).
Unemployment among Europe's under-25s, continues to worsen, with 24.1 percent out of work in September compared with 23.7 percent in August. That means that 3.548 million young people were unemployed in the euro zone in September, an increase of 8,000 from August.
Struggling southern European countries remain worse hit, and the latest numbers show that over half of young people in Spain, Croatia and Greece are still unemployed. In contrast, the lowest youth jobless rate is currently in Germany, at 7.7 percent, and Austria with 8.7 percent.