The unemployment rate inched down to 10.3 percent in February in the 19 countries that use the euro.

The slight drop announced Monday from 10.4 percent the month before is a token of the currency union's modest economic recovery.

Germany had the lowest jobless rate at 4.3 percent thanks to a strong domestic economy and its traditional export strength in machines and auto.

But the rate remains painfully high in Spain at 20.4 percent and Greece at 24.0 percent.

The European Central Bank last month increased its stimulus measures to boost the recovery and raise weak inflation. Those steps include pumping newly printed money into the banking system through bond purchases in an attempt to expand credit to companies.