The unemployment rate across the eurozone remained at a near-record 12% in January and inflation was stable at a low level, according to official data released today.
Some 19.175 million were without a job across the eurozone, or 17,000 more than in December. The jobless rate has held steady since October, the statistics agency Eurostat said.
The inflation rate, which stayed at 0.8% in February, is well below the European Central Bank's target rate of around 2%. Some analysts say the low rate means the bloc risks falling into deflation, when a drop in prices leads companies and consumers to delay purchases and investments, hurting growth.
A further drop in the inflation rate would have increased the pressure on the ECB to ease monetary policy further to shore up the recovery ahead of its rate-setting meeting next week.
The Europe-wide statistics hide huge differences between economies. The unemployment rate is lowest in Austria and Germany at around 5% and stands at about 26% in Spain and 28% in Greece.
Youth unemployment, meanwhile, edged down across Europe. The rate of jobless for those aged under 25 in the eurozone fell by 0.1 percentage points to 24%, with 87,000 less jobless. In the wider EU, 171,000 young people found a job, bringing the unemployment rate down from 23.7% to 23.4%.
Youth unemployment was highest in Greece and Spain, where almost six out of ten under 25 are jobless, and lowest in Germany with a rate of only 7.6%.
Following last year's light recession, the eurozone is expected to grow by 1.2% in 2014 and by 1.8% next year, according to the most recent forecasts by the European Commission.