The euro zone jobless rate in February fell to its lowest level since May 2009 as a resurgent hiring spree took hold despite uncertainty over Brexit, EU data showed today.
The Eurostat statistics agency said the jobless rate in the 19-nation euro zone fell to 9.5%, with sustained drops in Spain and Portugal also a factor.
During the worst of the debt crisis, unemployment in the single currency bloc peaked at 12.1%.
The fall in unemployment will add to a list of arguments from powerhouse Germany that the European Central Bank should stop its massive stimulus programme as early as possible.
The ECB, led by its chief Mario Draghi, is at pains to stress that despite the series of positive economic signals, it may be too soon to pull back on the programme.
Eurostat on Friday gave ammunition to Dragi's argument to maintain the stimulus, reporting that inflation had dropped to 1.5%, well-below the ECB's target.
Ireland's unemployment rate, meanwhile, remains well below the EU and euro zone averages at 6.6%.
Europe's top economy Germany had one of the lowest euro zone jobless rate at 3.9%, while Greece at 23.1% was the worst.
France, the second biggest economy in the euro zone, remained stuck at 10%.
Spain continued its steady drop, landing at 18%. While still high, this was a big drop from 20.5% 12 months before.