Spain’s jobless rate rose yet again in September as the services sector laid off more workers at the end of the summer tourist season.
The latest figures suggest one in four of the Spanish workforce is now unemployed – that is 4.7 million people.
Amid a worsening recession, it is looking more likely Madrid will need an international bailout.
One jobseeker in Madrid said: “A bailout would be a loan that has to be repaid. It would be better if we didn’t have to ask for it, but if there’s no alternative, we have to.”
A woman at the job centre added: “It’s not good because the situation is critical, the crisis is huge. Spaniards, and others, need financial help. This is very, very bad.”
As the jobs figures were released, there was a report that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had told a gathering of regional leaders of his party, that the government would not ask for a bailout this coming weekend, contrary to media reports.
At the same time, last week’s stress tests of Spain’s banks were criticised.
The ratings agency Moody’s and economists at JP Morgan have calculated the independent audit greatly under-estimated how much the country’s top lenders would need to cope with a economic downturn and the true amount may be twice as much.