The euro zone seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.6 percent in May 2014, stable compared with April, but lower than the 12.0 percent in May 2013, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU) on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the EU unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in May 2014, lower than the 10.4 percent in April, and the 10.9 percent in May 2013.
Eurostat estimated that 25,184 million men and women in the EU were unemployed in May 2014, of whom 18,552 million were in the euro zone. These numbers decreased by 63,000 in the EU and by 28,000 in the euro zone respectively when compared with April.
For young persons under 25, 5,187 million were unemployed in the EU, of whom 3.356 million were in the euro zone in May 2014. When compared with May 2013, youth unemployment decreased by 464,000 in the EU and by 205,000 in the euro zone.
In May 2014, youth unemployment rate was 22.2 percent in the EU and 23.3 percent in the euro zone, compared with 23.6 percent and 23.9 percent respectively in May 2013.
Among the member states, the lowest unemployment rates were registered in Austria, Germany and Malta at around 5 percent, and the highest in Greece and Spain at over 25 percent.
When compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in 21 member states, increased in six and remained stable in Austria. The largest decreases were registered in Hungary, Portugal and Ireland, and the highest increases in Luxembourg, Italy, Finland and the Netherlands.
Unemployment in Europe continued to slowly decline but long-term unemployment was still on the rise, and member states of the EU must do more to support job creation and combat social exclusion, according to Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
"We can only really speak of a proper recovery when Europe's economy creates new jobs in hundreds of thousands every month on a sustained basis," said Andor.