Spain jobless queue grows for second month: official data

5th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

Unemployment queues in Spain grew in October for the second month in a row, a government report showed Tuesday, as the eurozone's fourth-largest economy struggled to emerge from recession.

The number of people registered as unemployed grew by 87,028 from the previous month to 4.81 million in October, a Labour Ministry report said.

The two-month chill in the labour market followed a summer jobs boom that sent the number of unemployment claimants tumbling for six months in a row.

Spain's official unemployment rate, calculated in a separate, broader household survey, fell in the third quarter to 25.98 percent of the workforce from the previous quarter's 26.26 percent.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government, which has passed reforms making it easier to change work conditions and cheaper to lay off employees, found some comfort in the latest jobs figures.

When compared to October last year, the number of people who had registered as being unemployed fell by 37,340, the government said.

And when the data were corrected to remove seasonal blips, the number of jobless claimants actually fell by 8,239 to 4.83 million people in October from the previous month, the report showed.

The latest data showed an improving trend in recent months in registered unemployment and hiring, State Secretary for Employment Engracia Hidalgo said.

"We are convinced that the adopted reforms are the way to recovery and as such are necessary for our country to regain the path of growth and the sustained creation of stable, quality employment," she said in a statement.

Spain is still struggling to overcome the aftermath of a decade-long property bubble that imploded in 2008, destroying millions of jobs and sending debt levels soaring.

Official data last week showed that Spain barely crawled out of a two-year recession by posting economic growth of just 0.1 percent in the third quarter of this year.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that Spain faces five more years with an unemployment rate topping 25 percent unless it enacts new reforms including measures to help firms slash wages instead of axing staff.

© 2013 AFP

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