The unemployment rate in the 27-member European Union was at 10.8 percent in January, up from 10.7 percent in December, figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, indicated Friday.
The unemployment rate in the 17-member euro area was 11.9 percent in January, up from 11.8 percent in December.
In both zones, rates have risen markedly compared with January 2012, when they were 10.1 percent in the EU and 10.8 percent in the euro area.
Eurostat noted that 26.217 million men and women in the EU, of whom 18.998 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in January.
Compared with December, the number of persons unemployed increased by 222, 000 in the EU and by 201,000 in the euro area.
Compared with January 2012, unemployment rose by 1.890 million in the EU and by 1.909 million in the euro area.
Among the EU member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9 percent), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.3 percent) and the Netherlands (6.0 percent), and the highest in Greece (27.0 percent), Spain (26.
2 percent) and Portugal (17.6 percent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in nineteen EU countries, fell in seven, and remained stable in one, Denmark.