Spanish unemployment rises for second straight month

4th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in Spain rose in September for the second month in a row to just over four million people, the government said Monday.

The figure swelled by 48,102 people, or 1.2 percent, from the previous month, to 4.017 million, the labour ministry said in a statement, reflecting the end of temporary summer jobs, mainly in Spain's key tourism sector.

It was up by 8.3 percent from the same month last year.

Employment declined in construction, industry and agriculture in September over the previous month but was up in services.

"It is not good that more people are unemployed. However the Spanish economy is starting to show some signs of improvement even if that is not reflected in the recovery of employment, which will need a longer period of sustained growth," the ministry said in a statement.

The labour ministry does not provide a figure for the overall unemployment rate.

The national statistics institute, which uses a different calculation method from the labour ministry , puts the unemployment rate at 20.09 percent in the second quarter, up from 20.05 percent in the first quarter and its highest level in 13 years. The figure means 4.65 million people are jobless in Spain.

Last month the government raised its forecast for the unemployment rate for next year to 19.3 percent of the work force from a previous estimate of 18.9 percent.

The Spanish economy, Europe's fifth-largest, slumped into recession in 2008 due to a collapse of decade-long property boom.

It recovered this year with tepid growth of just 0.1 percent in the first quarter and 0.2 percent in the second.

© 2010 AFP

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