The number of people registered with Spain’s job centres rose in September for the first time in seven months.
The total of those out of work was up by 0.5 percent from August – that is 25,572 people, making the total 4.7 million.
The increase was expected as workers were laid off at the end of a busy tourist season.
Almost 52,000 of September’s job losses came in the service sector, while the number of registered unemployed fell in construction, agriculture and industry.
Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro chose to highlight how good the numbers were.
He said: “This is the best data in September since 2007 and it represents a change in the Spanish economy; it means that the decline in the labour market is coming to an end. We believe this is another confidence indicator that reveals that in 2014 Spain will be in a position to grow and create jobs.”
Spain’s Employment Minister, Engracia Hidalgo, said the labour market will improve as government reforms kick in. They make it cheaper to lay off workers and easier for companies to change work conditions.
The government though forecasts the jobless rate will remain at 26.6 percent this year falling to 25.9 percent next year.
The number of workers registered as contributors to the social security system fell 0.1 percent in September from a month earlier, or by 22,242 people, to 16.3 million.
That compares with 19.2 million contributing workers at the beginning of 2008, when the property bubble burst leading to mass layoffs in the construction industry, once a cornerstone of Spain’s economy.