Official figures show that unemployment across the 19-country eurozone held steady in November at 9.8 percent.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, says the number of unemployed in the eurozone fell by a modest 15,000 during the month to a total of 15.9 million. That was the smallest monthly decline since March 2015 — a 57,000 increase in Italy limited the monthly fall.
Unemployment in the eurozone has been consistently falling for more than a year and a half amid steady if unspectacular growth. Recent figures for the year-end suggest that the region's economy picked up momentum and that growth rates could be headed higher.
There are big disparities across the eurozone with German unemployment running at 4.1 percent but Greece still lumbered with a jobless rate of 23.1 percent.