It is a reflection of the economic times that a flat unemployment figure inspires a sense of relief, but today analysts breathed a sigh of relief as EU unemployment remained stable at 11.5 per cent in September.
Although it was the fourth consecutive month the rate had stayed the same, the total number of unemployed persons in the Eurozone dropped by 19,000 or 0.08 per cent: a small figure when 24.5 million are without work.
Analysts had not forecast a change, and any positive movement seems protracted. Last September the rate was 12 per cent.
The country with the highest unemployment was Greece, with 26.4 per cent, followed by Spain with 24 per cent. Germany, despite apparent weakening in its economy, has a rate of just five percent.
By comparison, the unemployment rate is six per cent in the UK and 5.9 per cent in the US.
Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight, was almost optimistic:
Modestly improving labour markets, along with consumer price inflation of just 0.4 per cent in October, offers hope that Eurozone consumers will gradually step up their spending over the coming months.
Eurozone consumer confidence also edged back up in October after recent softness, with consumers seemingly more prepared to make major purchases. However, wage growth remains muted and unemployment is still elevated.