Spanish official unemployment rises again in August

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After three consecutive months of decline, the number of unemployed rises by 2.4 percent in August.

Madrid – The number of unemployed in recession-hit Spain rose in August after three months of decline, the government said on Wednesday.

There were 3.629 million job seekers in Spain in August, up 84,985, or 2.4 percent, from the level in July, the employment ministry said.

The jump followed falls of 0.58 percent, or 20,794, in July, 55,250 in June and 24,741 in May, which was the first decline in 14 months.

Employment Secretary Maravillas Rojo blamed the rise on "new arrivals on the job market, the end of seasonal contracts, while tourist activity did not reach the level of recent years".

The government's method for calculating unemployment differs from that used by the National Statistics Institute (INE), which in July estimated that the jobless figure has passed the four-million mark, with an unemployment rate of 17.92 percent, about twice the eurozone average.

The government has forecast that the rate will remain high, closing the year at 17.9 percent and rising to 18.9 percent in 2010.

Spain entered recession in late 2008. Its economy, Europe's fifth biggest, has been hit particularly hard by the world economic crisis after a decade-long boom driven by the construction industry came to an end.

AFP / Expatica

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