The number of people in work in the eurozone continued to fall in the second quarter of this year.
However the rate of decline slowed, adding to hopes that the region’s modest recovery may be gaining momentum.
Employment in the 17 nations sharing the euro fell by 0.1 percent in the April-to-June period compared to the first quarter.
That was significantly less than the two previous quarters.
There were gains in the problem economies of Portugal and Ireland and further falls in Cyprus and Spain according to the figures from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat.
In the whole European union the number of people who are employed held steady.
The eurozone emerged from a recession in the second quarter, ending its longest downturn since the currency area’s creation in 1999, while June saw unemployment fall for the first time in more than two years.
However, the recovery remains weak and reliant on exports, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned this week that it was still “very, very green”.
Business surveys point to better morale, but improvements in hard data meanwhile are modest at best, highlighted by this week’s unexpected fall in July industrial production in the euro zone.