Zapatero sees 'long hard' road ahead for jobs

29th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spainish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Friday warned that a "long and hard" road lay ahead to reduce dire unemployment despite a third-quarter jobless fall, the first since mid 2007.

Zapatero described the figure, which slid below the psychological 20 percent barrier to 19.79 percent, as "positive" while refusing to yield to optimism for the future.

"We have a long and hard road ahead to turn the employment situation around and reduce unemployment," he told a news conference.

"We must remain very calm, the task is arduous and the unemployment rate also remains very high," he said.

"We cannot express any satisfaction," he said of the last slightly improved figure.

Spain's national statistics office said the decrease in joblessness was due to an improvement in the service sector, which registered 144,000 extra jobs compared with the same term the previous year.

Unemployment hit 20.09 percent in the second term, the highest in the eurozone and the worst term in Spain since the last quarter 1997, when it stood at 20.11 percent.

© 2010 AFP

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