Europeans are becoming more confident about the continent's employment situation, a new survey suggests

Job-related optimism in Europe may be growing, according to a new continent-wide poll.

The number of Europeans who believe the impact of the eurozone crisis on employment has reached its height is up from 36% to 40%, the latest Eurobarometer survey findings show.

The continent's population is becoming slightly more optimistic overall about the European Union's (EU) economy, the survey found.

More than half of Europeans (51%) claim that they are hopeful about the EU outlook.

This is two percentage points up from 49% in the spring 2013 Eurobarometer.

Overall, 43% of EU nationals predict that the region is going in the right direction to come out of the crisis and face new global challenges.

This is one percentage point up compared to the spring 2013 poll.

Unemployment remains the biggest challenge facing the union, however, the poll also found, with 49% concerned about this, down 3% on the last survey.

The general economic outlook (33%, stable), inflation (20%, stable) and Government debt (15%, -1%) are the three other primary concerns Europeans say they face at national level.

Inflation is easily the biggest fear on a personal level, with 40% (down 1%) most concerned about this.

Europeans view the overall economic situation (45%, -3%), unemployment (36%, -2%) and the condition of member states' public finances (26%, -4%) as the leading matters facing the EU today.

Meanwhile, backing for the economic and monetary union with a single currency, the euro, has stayed roughly stable.

Over half of Europeans prefer this approach (52%, +1% since spring 2013).

In 21 member states, the vast majority of respondents are backing the euro.

Luxembourg (79%) is the strongest supporter, followed by Slovenia (78%), Slovakia (78%), Estonia (76%), and Finland (75%).

The Autumn 2013 Eurobarometer is the new edition of the European Commission's bi-annual opinion poll.

This time it surveyed 32,409 people over the 28 EU member states, as well as in the five candidate countries.

These are the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland, Montenegro and Serbia.

Copyright Press Association 2013