Chronic and rising unemployment across the eurozone appeared to stabilise in December, although EU data released on Friday still showed almost 19 million people without work in the 17-state single currency area.
The Eurostat statistics agency put the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, the same level as in November, after revising that month's figure down from 11.8 percent.
Across the full, 27-state European Union, which includes countries such as Britain and Poland, the rate was 10.7 percent in December, or a little less than 26 million people on the dole.
Compared with a year earlier, the eurozone has nonetheless shed 1.796 million jobs.
Divergences in terms of economic performance within the bloc remain pronounced, as the lowest unemployment rates were again recorded in the the wealthier north, with Austria on 4.3 percent, Germany and Luxembourg each on 5.3 percent and the Netherlands on 5.8 percent.
Greece and Spain continue to log by far the highest rates, at 26.8 percent in October and 26.1 percent in December, respectively.