BRUSSELS (AP) -- Unemployment in the 16 nations that share the euro rose to 8.5 percent in February, with some 319,000 more people without a job than in January, the EU statistics office said Wednesday.
In January, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent.
Eurostat said the jobless rate across the entire 27-nation European Union is now 7.9 percent, up from 7.7 percent in January.
In the EU, 478,000 more people were looking for a job than in January, adding to some 19 million unemployed in the region.
Unemployment is highest in Spain at 15.5 percent, Latvia at 14.4 percent and Lithuania at 13.7 percent. All three saw the highest increase in jobless rates from a year ago as they were hit by the bursting of a housing bubble and a sharp downturn.
Young people are far more likely to be jobless than a year ago, with the EU unemployment rate for under 25s at 17.5 percent. It was 14.7 percent in February 2008.