One in four Spaniards are now out of work as the unemployment rate hit a record high in the third quarter.
More are expected to lose their jobs next year as additional government cutbacks kick in.
In the European Union only Greece has a higher jobless rate.
The total number of those out of work stood at just under 5.8 million – that’s 25.02 percent of the workforce. The rate was 24.6 percent in the second quarter.
For many the only hope of employment is to move abroad. Outside a Madrid job centre Carlos Quintana said: “If I were to receive an offer from abroad I would go, that’s very clear, very clear. The problem is the language.”
“So many cuts, people are suffering so much, they are even having heart attacks because they don’t have anything. Suddenly they don’t have a way to survive. So we need another policy that helps people, but every day they strangle us more,” said another unemployed man Italo Heran.
Labour reforms pushed through by Spain’s government this year have made it easier for companies to hire and fire leading many to make mass layoffs as demand remains fragile in the shrinking economy.
The official numbers follow trade unions call for a general strike for November 14. That is part of growing protests over cutbacks that many believe have done little to combat the crisis and only served to put more people out of work.
Driven to suicide
A 53-year-old man was found dead after hanging himself because he was about to lose his home, Spanish media reported.
Police in Granada confirmed the man, identified as J.M. Domingo, was due to be served with a foreclosure order on the day he killed himself, Spanish daily El Mundo reported.
Suicide rates have increased across Spain as the nation continues to feel the strain from government austerity measures and crippling unemployment.
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