Jobless total rises by 50,481 in January

3rd February 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 February 2004, MADRID - The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Spain rose by 50,481 in January, the Ministry of Employment said Tuesday.

3 February 2004

MADRID - The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Spain rose by 50,481 in January, the Ministry of Employment said Tuesday.

This means the total number of people out of work in Spain is 1,761,968 - equivalent to 9.2 percent of the workforce.

Sources at the ministry, said it meant the rate of unemployment was 0.2 percent lower than in January 2003.

Rates of unemployment have varied depending on different sectors of the economy.

The unemployment rate grew 5.9 percent (57,632 people) in the agricultural sector and 2.2 percent (5,143 people) among first-time job seekers.

Meanwhile, the jobless rate in the construction and manufacturing sectors fell 7.1 percent and 0.05 percent, respectively.

Unemployment in January "normally" increases, said sources at the Ministry of Employment.

However, they emphasised that last month's figures were "the best since 1999".

The economy will be a cornerstone of the election campaign which starts officially later this month in Spain.

But since prime minister Jose Maria Aznar's announcement last month of the official general election date – 14 March – all parties have been effectively on the campaign trail.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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