More than half a million find work in first three months of the year in EU

More than half a million unemployed people found job in the EU during the first three month of 2007, Eurostat agency said Wednesday.

The number of workers grew by 533,000 - or 0.4 percent - from the last quarter of 2006, it said, and 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Across the entire 27-member European Union, 612,000 people found jobs as employment grew 0.3 percent from the last quarter or 1.2 percent year-on-year.

Overall, Eurostat said 141.6 million people were working in the euro area in the first quarter and there were 220.4 million workers in the EU as a whole.

Among the EU's bigger economies over the quarter, Germany, Spain and France added jobs while Britain and Italy saw the number of workers fall slightly. Compared with the same quarter last year, German employment climbed 1.5 percent, the Spanish rate rose 3 percent and France was up 0.2 percent. Britain rose 0.3 percent and Italy by 0.2 percent.

Eurostat figures are seasonally adjusted.