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Spain's dole queues lengthen in February

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Spain's dole queues lengthen in February

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The number of people out of work in Spain rose in February to its highest level in 15 years.

An additional 68,260 people registering for unemployment benefits compared to January, the Labour Ministry in Madrid said.

That brings the jobless total to 4.3 million, continuing the steady increase of the last few months. It means more than a fifth of Spain’s workforce is now out of work.

The ministry does not give a percentage unemployment rate, but statistics institute data at the end of January showed 20.3 percent of the country’s workers without jobs. This week the EU said it was 20.4 percent.

That is the highest unemployment rate in Europe, more than double the EU average of 9.9 percent.

Worst effected in February was Spain’s services sector, which accounts for around 70 percent of the country’s economy. It lost 40,000 jobs.