Unemployment in the eurozone fell to a 12-year low in February, the month before coronavirus containment measures began to be introduced widely across Europe.
The jobless rate was 7.3 percent in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency, the lowest level since March 2008, European Union statistics office Eurostat said on Wednesday.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the rate to be unchanged from the 7.4 percent of January.
In the 27-member European Union unemployment was 6.5 percent of the workforce, unchanged from January and so holding at the lowest rate recorded since the start of monthly data in February 2000.
Unemployment ranged from 2 percent in the Czech Republic and 2.9 percent in the Netherlands and Poland, to 13.6 percent in Spain and 16.3 percent in Greece.