The Eurozone has finally had some good news: unemployment is down to 11.4 per cent, its lowest rate since August 2012. Although admittedly, 11.4 per cent would cause a mutiny in the UK.
The figure's drop was relatively small: it was 11.5 per cent in November and 11.8 per cent in December. And chipping fractions of a percentage point from the headline rate (seasonally adjusted) is less impressive if you’re Greece or Spain, which are both still suffering rates in the high 20s.
Still, the headline rate has fallen 1.5 percentage points from its peak: 12 per cent between February and September 2013.
Here's how it looks across the Eurozone*:
Recent headlines haven't splashed great news. The rates in many countries are so high, the small drops are unlikely to be felt. What is more, with deflation setting in (-0.6 per cent according to today's data), the future of the Eurozone is far from certain, even if Mario Draghi’s monetary policy "bazooka" hits the mark.
The data from Eurostat showed 24m people in the EU and 18 million were in the euro area were unemployed in December 2014.
This figure was down from November, with a fall of 228,000 in the EU and by 157,000 in the euro area. Compared with a year ago, unemployment fell 1m in the EU28 and by 693,000 in the Eurozone.
The lowest rates were in Germany (4.8 per cent) and Austria (4.9 per cent), while the highest rates were Greece (25.8 per cent, October) and Spain, (23.7 per cent). The UK had an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent in November.
The rate for the European Union fell to 9.9 per cent, from 10 per cent in November. It's the first time it's been below 10 per cent since 2011. The region's highest rate came between January and August 2013, when the rate was 10.9 per cent.
*Where there is no data for December 2014, the most recent statistic is quoted.