There was a slight rise in employment in the eurozone and wider European Union during the third quarter, according to statistics agency Eurostat.

The number of persons employed in the 19 countries that use the euro rose by 0.2% between July and September, and by the same percentage in the 28 countries that make up the European Union.

Eurostat estimates that there were 232.5m people employed in the EU by the end of September, the highest level ever recorded.

Meanwhile there were 153.4m employed in the euro area, the highest that figure has been since the end of 2008.

Portugal had the highest rate of growth during the quarter, with employment up 1.3% on the previous three months.

Employment in Spain rose by 0.8%, while Luxembourg saw levels increase by 0.7%.

The largest decreases in employment were recorded in Lativa, down 1.5%, and Estonia, where it fell by 1%.