Spain's jobless figures to improve from March: PM

9th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's prime minister said Wednesday the country, which has the highest unemployment rate in the industrialised world, would begin to see an improvement in its jobless figures from next month.

"It's obvious that we will not have an economic recovery without a recovery in employment," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told parliament.

But "we are convinced that we will be capable of recapturing the jobs" lost in the crisis, he said, adding that it would be a "difficult task."

"This recovery and the better (employment) figures will undoubtedly begin from this month," he said.

Spain's jobless rate stood at 20.33 percent at the end of 2010, the highest level among states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and well above the government target of 19.4 percent for the year.

The total number of Spaniards out of work rose for a second consecutive month in February to the highest figure since comparable records began in 1996.

The Spanish economy suffered its worst recession in decades in late 2008. It emerged with meagre growth rates in the first half of last year and posted a contraction of 0.1 percent for all of 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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