Lithuania official unemployment climbs to 12.4 percent

Lithuania's unemployment rate climbed to 12.4 in February from 12.3 percent in January and 11.4 in December, official data showed on Thursday.

The number of registered jobseekers was 229,900 as of March 1 in the Baltic nation of three million which joined the EU in 2004, the Lithuanian labour exchange said in a statement.

The jobless rate peaked at 15.3 percent in 2009 when the country tumbled into a deep recession.

Unemployment had since been on the decline since a recovery which saw output expand by 1.5 percent in 2010, 5.9 percent in 2011 and 3.6 percent last year as the eurozone crisis took a toll on exports.

This year, the country which hopes to join the troubled eurozone by 2015, expects its economy to expand by 3.0 percent.