Unemployment rate of the euro area stood at 12.1 percent in July, the same as last month and also the highest level since such statistics started to publicize in 1995, European Union (EU) statistics office said Friday.
In the wider 28-member EU, the overall unemployment rate in July was 11 percent, the same as the previous month, Eurostat figures showed.
In both zones, jobless rates have risen markedly compared with July 2012, when they were 11.5 percent in the eurozone and 10.5 percent in the EU respectively.
Eurostat estimates that 26.654 million men and women in the EU, of whom 19.231 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in July 2013. Compared with June 2013, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 33, 000 in the EU and by 15, 000 in the euro area.
Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria at 4.6 percent, Germany at 5.4 percent, and Luxembourg at 5.7 percent, according to Eurostat statistics.
The highest jobless rates were registered in Greece at 27.6 percent and Spain at 26.3 percent, said Eurostat.
Youth unemployment remains a challenging problem for the EU. In July, 5.56 million young persons under the age of 25 were unemployed in the EU, of whom 3.5 million were in the euro area.
In July, the youth unemployment rate was 23.4 percent in the EU and 24 percent in the euro area, higher than 22.9 percent and 23.3 percent respectively in July 2012, the figures showed.
The lowest youth jobless rates were observed in Germany at 7.7 percent and Austria at 9.2 percent, while the highest were recorded in Greece at 62.9 percent and Spain at 56.1 percent.