(MENAFN - AFP) Eurozone unemployment dropped for the first time in more than two years to 12.0 percent in July against 12.1 percent the previous month, and then remained stable in August, official data showed Tuesday.
The small drop was the first within the 17-nation zone since February 2011, the Eurostat statistics agency said.
The total number of people out of work fell 16,000 to 19.17 million, but in the year since August 2012 was up by 895,000.
In the full 28-member European Union -- including Croatia which joined in July -- the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.9 percent for the fourth consecutive month, with 26.59 million people jobless, down 38,000 from June.
There was some good news for youth unemployment, which fell over the year from August 2012 to August 2013 by 52,000 under-25s in the eurozone to 3.45 million, and by 123,000 youngsters in the 28-nation EU to 5.49 million.
Overall, however, youth unemployment, the 16-25 age bracket, continued very high at 23.7 percent in the eurozone and 23.3 percent in the EU, after 23.8 percent and 23.4 percent respectively in July.
Greece was the again the worst affected, with a youth jobless rate of 61.5 percent, while Spain was at 56.0 percent in August.
Among those countries with the lowest unemployment levels, Austria had 4.9 percent in August, followed by Germany, Europe's powerhouse economy, on 5.2 percent.
The highest rates were in twice-bailed out Greece at 27.9 percent -- according to the latest available figures for June -- and Spain, on 26.2 percent.