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Spain sees record drop in jobless numbers in June

George Mills/The Local/AFP · 2 Jul 2013, 09:35

Published: 02 Jul 2013 09:35 GMT+02:00

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The June drop was the biggest on record for the sixth month of the year, Spanish media reported on Tuesday.

According to El País, the kick-off of the country's tourist season jump-started the drop in numbers.

The fall of 2.6 percent in relative terms means Spain now has 4,763,680 people officially registered as unemployed by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

"The first half of the year, with a fall of 85,043 (in jobless numbers), was the best start to the year since 2006," El Mundo newspaper reported the state secretary for employment, Engracia Hidalgo, as saying.

Nevertheless, she said, Spain had "much work" ahead to offer work to all those suffering from the economic crisis.

"We are firmly committed to laying the foundations so Spain can recover the path of economic growth and the creation of stable, quality jobs," the employment secretary said.

Unemployment in Spain has actually risen 3.2 percent since June 2012.

In addition, only 26,853 more people starting paying into the country's social security system in June, far lower than the drop in unemployment.

In terms of new job contracts, June saw 1,277,255 people sign on the dotted line to start work, or 7.9 percent fewer than in the same month in 2012, 20minutos reported.

Of these new contracts, just 87,349 — or 6.84 percent of the total — were indefinite contracts. That is 48 percent lower than the figure for June 2012.

June is traditionally a good month for unemployment. But when the latest figures are seasonally adjusted to counter this, Spain's jobless line actually grew by 996 in June to reach 4,876,323, 20minutos reported.

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Spain's official unemployment rate shot to a record 27.16 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to a broader, quarterly household survey conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government is forecasting the jobless rate will ease to 26.7 percent over 2014 and ease back further to 25 percent in 2015.

Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, 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.

George Mills/The Local/AFP (george.mills@thelocal.com)

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