Unemployment down as political games heat up
4 January 2005, MADRID-A political row blew up after an opposition politician published the unemployment figures a day before the Socialist government.
4 January 2005
MADRID-A political row blew up after an opposition politician published the unemployment figures a day before the Socialist government.
Esperanza Aguirre, a Popular Party president of Madrid regional government, broke an accord with the Ministry of Employment which was due to release the figures on Wednesday.
Spain's unemployment rate has fallen by 2.41 percent during December.
At the end of 2004, the number of people out of work fell by 41,000.
Spain now has the same unemployment rate as before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States and the subsequent world economic crisis.
At the beginning of 2004, there were 1,811,487 people claiming unemployment benefit in Spain.
But this figure fell to 1,670,240 by the end of the year.
In comparison, in 2003 the number of people out of work rose by 23,000. The year before in 2002, it also rose by 113,000, and in 2001 it went up by 18,000.
Jobless figures fell across the board in all sectors of the economy, except in building. The biggest fall was in agricultural sector, with 6.5 percent fewer people looking for work.
Fewer young people were out of work in Spain. There was a 20 percent fall in the numbers of school-leavers looking for work.
Madrid showed the best job stability. The rate of unemployment was 21 percent in the capital at the beginning of the year but by December this had fallen to 11 percent.
The unemployment rate in Spain is now 7.4 percent.
A spokesman for the Madrid regional council denied it had broken an agreement with the government not to publicize the figures early.
Manuel Valle, a spokesman for the regional government, said: "It is the government who has broken this agreement before. The tradition is to publicize these figures as early as possible."
But a spokesman for the Ministry of Employment said it did not appreciate the actions of Aguirre in releasing the figures early.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news