UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE eurozone has hit the highest level since the introduction of the single currency, reaching 10.98 per cent in February.
The overall joblessness figure for the bloc was 10.7 per cent in January, with Spain being the country with the single highest rate of unemployment at 23.6 per cent.
Last year, the unemployment rate in the 17-country zone stood at 10 per cent in January and 9.5 per cent in February, according to figures released by Eurostat.
It is estimated that 24.5 million EU citizens were unemployed in February 2012, with 17.1 million of those being from eurozone countries.
The lowest recorded unemployment rates were in Austria (4.2 per cent), the Netherlands (4.9 per cent), Luxembourg (5.2 per cent) and Germany (5.7 per cent).
The highest rates were observed in Spain (23.6 per cent) and Greece (21 per cent).
Similar figures were seen in youth unemployment rates, with the lowest seen in Germany (8.2 per cent), Austria (8.3 per cent) and the Netherlands (9.4 per cent) and the highest seen in Spain (50.5 per cent) and Greece (50.4 per cent).