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Unemployment drops in Spain for fifth straight month

, July 2, 2015, 0 Comments

spain unemployment drops marketexpress-inLatest government figures show that jobless numbers are steadily dropping in Spain. But the country still has the second highest unemployment rate in the eurozone – behind Greece.

The Spanish Labor Ministry said on Thursday that unemployment benefit claims had dropped by 94,727 – or 2.25 percent – to 4.12 million.

According to the government, the number of people without work fell across all sectors except for agriculture – and in every region.

But it also admitted that the majority of new jobs were on short-term contracts.

June is traditionally a relatively strong month for the Spanish jobs market, as retailers, restaurants and other service providers bolster their staff for the busy summer tourist season.

Massaging the figures

However, the Labor Ministry’s monthly figure is a different measure from the quarterly unemployment rate, which also includes other job seekers who are not signing on for benefits.

That figure, from the National Statistic Institute, put Spain’s unemployment rate at 23.78 percent in the first quarter – a total of 5.44 million unemployed people. Only Greece, which recorded an unemployment rate of 25.6 percent in March, had a higher rate inside Europe.

Spain returned to growth in 2014 with an expansion of 1.4 percent after five years of recession or stagnation following the collapse of a labor-intensive building boom in 2008.

Spain’s conservative government, which is facing a year-end general election, earlier this year hiked its economic growth forecast to 2.9 percent for 2015 and 2016. The government forecast the unemployment rate would fall to 22.1 percent in 2015.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Monday that the government may raise its economic growth forecast once again.

Source: Deutsche Welle |
Image Credits: picture-alliance/dpa/Fernando Villar