Spanish jobless numbers dip in March, still 4.8 million unemployed

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Spanish jobless numbers dip in March, still 4.8 million unemployed

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There are signs of slight improvement in Spain’s employment situation as the number of people out of work there fell in March.

At the same time the Labour Ministry said the total workforce grew compared with the same month last year.

Even though Spanish joblessness remains among the highest in the European Union there is now some job creation coinciding with a slow return to growth.

Labour Minister Fátima Báñez told reporters: “Less unemployment and more employment are clear signs of improvement and the beginning of recovery. That is good news and encourages us to continue working for those who have not yet found a job. For us, more jobs mean always more confidence, and above all, more employment is the guarantee of a real recovery.”

The number of people registered as out of work fell in March by 16,620 from the previous month.

That was the biggest improvement for the month of March since 2006, but there are still 4.8 million on the jobless rolls.

“These are good figures, as it shows some tentative growth after years of job destruction, but the increases are very small and, for the first quarter, the rises are less than we’d hoped for,” economist at Citi in Madrid Jose Luis Martinez.

A quarterly survey of households carried out by Spain’s National Statistics Institute showed the unemployment rate topped 26 percent of the workforce in the final three months of last year.

It is considered to be a more accurate picture of the jobs situation than the Labour Ministry statistics.