Economic crisis forces Spaniards overseas: study

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The number of Spaniards leaving to work overseas has doubled in the past two years since the country was hit by the economic crisis, a study said Tuesday

"The number of (Spanish) job seekers outside of our country has doubled during the last two years, coinciding... with the recession," international human resources firm Adecco said.

It said typical Spanish job seekers overseas were well-qualified young men, about half of whom stayed in Europe.

The number of Spaniards registered on electoral lists but living abroad jumped by 118,145 between April 2008 to April 2009, Adecco said.

"This indicates that they left Spain to work or to accompany someone close to them who had gone abroad for professional reasons," it said.

These migrations were the result of "the situation in the Spanish (labour) market and the increase in unemployment," it said.

The United States and most countries of the euro zone offer "more competitive and attractive" possibilities," it added.

Spain, which throughout most of its history has been a country from where people emigrated, became a country experiencing immigration in the mid-1990s, when a construction boom fuelled rapid economic growth.

But Spain entered economic recession in late 2008 after the property bubble burst. The unemployment rate has now rocketed to more than 20 percent from less than 8.0 percent in mid-2007.

Millions of immigrants arrived in Spain in the 1990s, mostly unskilled workers employed by the construction or tourist industries.

At the start of this year Spain had 5.7 million immigrants among its 47 million inhabitants, or some 12.2 percent, up from 11.3 percent a year ago.

© 2010 AFP

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