Rise in Spanish unemployment eases for third month
Still the employment ministry predicts unemployment rate will remain high and may even rise in 2010.Madrid – The number of unemployed in recession-hit Spain declined in July for the third month running, the government said on Tuesday.
The number of job seekers was down 0.58 percent, or 20,794, in July from the previous month, the employment ministry said.
This follows a fall of 55,250 in June and 24,741 in May, which was the first drop in 14 months.
"The figures for July confirm the increase in unemployment continues to moderate, following the trend that began in April," said employment secretary Maravillas Rojo.
"We can expect that unemployment will change in the coming months, but that, if it increases, it will be at the same rate as in the recent months."
In July, the National Statistics Institute reported an unemployment rate of 17.92 percent in July, almost twice the eurozone average.
The government had forecast that the rate will remain high, closing the year at 17.9 percent and rising to 18.9 percent in 2010.
Spain entered recession in late 2008. Its economy, Europe's fifth biggest, has been hit particularly hard by the world economic crisis after a decade-long boom driven by the construction industry came to an end.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero responded to the economic slowdown late last year with a EUR-10-billion infrastructure spending plan that aims to create over 300,000 jobs, mainly through 31,000 public works projects across the country.
AFP / Expatica