Nearly 3 million jobless in Spain

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Unemployment in November went up for the eight consecutive month by 171,000.

2 December 2008

MADRID – The number of registered unemployed in Spain rose by 6.0 percent, or 171,243 jobless, in November over the previous month, the eighth consecutive monthly increase, to reach 2,989,269 people, the labour ministry said Tuesday.

Since October 2007 the number has risen 42.7 percent, or 894,796 jobless, it said in a statement.

The ministry does not release the unemployment rate, which is measured by the national statistics institute INE. It stood at 11.3 percent in the third quarter, the highest rate in 27-nation European Union.

Deputy Labor Minister Maravillas Rojo blamed the rise on the global financial crisis, which she said "had hit in full all aspects of the economy" but she expressed confidence that government measures to fight unemployment would bear fruit.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero unveiled Thursday an 11-billion economic stimulus plan that calls for heavy spending on public works and other stimulus measures to create 300,000 jobs in 2009.

Spain's once-buoyant economy is on the verge of recession as the global financial crisis has hit the key construction sector, which was already weakened by oversupply and rising interest rates.

The Spanish economy contracted for the first time since 1993 in the third quarter, shrinking 0.2 percent, and is widely expected to shrink during the fourth quarter.

[AFP / Expatica]

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