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Spain's jobless rate rises in first quarter of 2014

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Spain's jobless rate rises in first quarter of 2014
Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP
09:16 CEST+02:00
Spain's unemployment rate climbed to nearly 26 percent in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed Tuesday, as millions searched in vain for a job in a halting recovery from recession, but the news was not all bad.

Despite emerging gingerly from a two-year downturn in mid-2013, the latest figures showed Spain still failing to significantly dent one of the highest unemployment rates in the industrialized world.

The unemployment rate climbed to 25.93 percent in the first three months of 2014, up from 25.73 percent in the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute said.

It was not all bad news.

The unemployment queue shrank fractionally, by just 2,300 people to 5.93 million. But the jobless nevertheless made up a bigger share of the total workforce, which is shrinking as people leave the country or give up looking for work.

Spain's unemployment rate fell to a record low of 7.93 percent in the second quarter of 2007, towards the end of a decade-long property bubble.

But a 2008 real estate crash sent the jobless rate soaring to reach an unprecedented 26.94 percent in the first quarter of 2013 before easing just a little by the end of the year, the latest data show.

Spain's unemployment data for the past decade were revised last week to take account of updated population figures.

The country's official unemployment rate is based on a survey of 65,000 households across the country, known as the EPA, or Active Population Survey.

The EPA is considered the clearest picture of unemployment in the country as it also captures people who are looking for work, but are not registered at the country's employment offices.

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