Unemployment across the eurozone at 12 percent as survey indicates recession carried on in Q1

Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, says Tuesday that the rate in February was unchanged at the record high. January's figure was revised up to 12 percent from 11.9 percent.

Over the month, a net 33,000 people in the eurozone joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Spain and Greece continued to suffer from unemployment rates above 26 percent, and many others were seeing their numbers swell to uncomfortable levels.

The February figures came before the recent Cyprus crisis, which has reignited concerns over the future of the euro.

Separately, a closely-watched survey indicated that the eurozone recession continued in the first quarter.