Spanish unemployment drops, still over 26%

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Spanish unemployment drops, still over 26%

Spanish unemployment drops, still over 26%
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Spain’s jobless rate has fallen for the first time in two years.

In the period from April to June, the number of unemployed Spaniards fell by 225,000.

The means 26.3 percent of the workforce was without a job – down from 27.2 percent in the first three months of the year.

The number of people who were in work rose for the first time in five years and the total jobless figure slipped below six million.

Any improvement is welcomed by the government as it bolsters their repeated claims that the economy is about to climb out of its long recession.

But the figures still make grim reading – and the Economy Minister Luis de Guindos called them “totally unacceptable”.

Youth unemployment remains extremely, high, with more than 56 percent of the country’s under 24 year olds out of work.

Seasonal holiday jobs accounted for most of those created.

That sector is expected to be strong this year as cash-strapped Europeans look for budget holiday destinations while avoiding Egypt and other Middle Eastern troublespots.

“The Spanish government has undertaken a bitter battle to stabilise growing unemployment, and it seems to be gaining ground,” Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer of Close Brothers Asset Management, said in a written note.

“But despite positive data in recent weeks, it’s evident that Spain is still struggling to balance austerity with growth.”

Spain is one of the eurozone’s troubled economies, subject to a bank bail out after a housing bubble there burst. But it is far stronger than others such as neighbour Portugal or Greece.

Jobs have been the main issue. The unemployment rate has risen relentlessly since 2011, with some 3.8 million people joining the jobless lines since the first quarter of 2008, the year the global financial crisis erupted and property prices collapsed.

with Reuters