Euro zone unemployment fell as expected in July as 350,000 people found jobs compared to the previous month, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said today.

Eurostat said the unemployment rate in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell to 7.6% of the workforce, in line with economists' consensus in a Reuters poll, from 7.8% in June.

This meant there were 12.334 million people registered as unemployed in the euro zone in July, down from 12.684 million in June.

Spain and Greece remained the two EU countries with the highest unemployment rate, with 14.3% and 14.6% respectively, but there, too, the number of jobless fell sharply.

The Netherlands had the lowest unemployment rate in the euro zone at just 3.1%, followed by Malta with 3.3% and Germany with 3.6%.