The number of persons employed decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and remained stable in the EU271 in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the fourth quarter of 2011, employment fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27. These figures are seasonally adjusted. The largest fall in employment was recorded in construction (-1.3% in the euro area and -0.8% in the EU27) and the highest increase in information & communication (+1.0% and +1.3% respectively). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2012. Eurostat estimates that, in the first quarter of 2012, 222.9 million men and women were employed in the EU27, of which 146.1 million in the euro area. These figures are seasonally adjusted. These quarterly data on employment provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.