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402,000 Spaniards find work in three months

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402,000 Spaniards find work in three months
Photo of office building: Shutterstock
09:40 CEST+02:00
Over 400,000 people went back to work in the second quarter of 2014, the highest such three-month figure since the middle of 2005, official figures released on Thursday show.

A total of 402,400 people in Spain returned to employment from April to June , the latest Active Population Study (EPA) figures from Spain's national statistics institute, the INE, show. 

That's the strongest quarterly result since 2005. 

The number of unemployed people dropped 310,400 in the same period to hit 5,622,900, the lowest figure since the last quarter of 2011.

The seasonally adjusted drop of 3.12 percent is the highest since 2006, or before Spain's economic crisis kicked in.

The figures from Spain's statistics institute also show that 192,400 more people are working than a year ago, a rise of 1.1 percent and the best year-on-year figure since 2008.

Tourism and retail made up 57 percent of those nearly 200,000 new jobs.

The official unemployment rate is now 24.47 percent, a drop of 1,4  percent.

Spain's official unemployment rate is based on a survey of 65,000 households across the country, known as the EPA.

The EPA — which differs from the monthly figures released by the country's unemployment ministry — 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.

Some 5.5 million people are still unemployed in Spain, which is slowly emerging from deep recession following the global financial crisis since years ago which burst a property bubble and threw the country into deep crisis.

Since then Spain, which was also caught by the eurozone debt crisis, has introduced deep reforms in its economy and has restructured its banking system at great cost, including exceptionally high unemployment.

Unemployment has hit young people in particular, as has been the case in some other crisis-hit eurozone countries, leading European Union leaders to speak of a "lost" generation.

However, on Wednesday, the Spanish central bank said that the economy had grown at the strongest rate for six years in the second quarter, expanding by 0.5 percent from output in the previous three months.

The bank also raised its forecasts for output for this year and next, saying the economy would grow by 1.3 percent this year and by 2.0 percent in 2015.

Official growth figures for the second quarter are to be published on Wednesday.

The Bank of Spain said growth between the first and second quarters of the year was the strongest since just before the global financial crisis began.

"In the second quarter, the recovery of the Spanish economy continued in a gradual way, in a context of normalising financial conditions, along with an improvement for employment and confidence," the bank said.

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