In Spain, October saw a fall in the number of people registered as unemployed with the data adjusted for seasonal factors like weather.
The pace of decline was the fastest in 16 years. That follows drops in September and in August and suggests that after almost six years of rising unemployment Spain may be turning the corner with job creation improving as the economy pulls out of recession.
However, when not seasonally adjusted, unemployment rose in October for the third straight month and Spain still has a jobless rate of 23.7 percent of the workforce – the second highest in the eurozone after Greece.
Unadjusted data showed the number of registered unemployed rose for a third month, by 1.78 percent from September or by 79,154 people, leaving 4.53 million people out of work.
The largest increases were in the highly seasonal sectors of agriculture and services, the Spanish Labour Ministry said.
The number of registered jobless, unadjusted for seasonality, had fallen for six months through July during the busy tourist season.
Data measuring the unemployment rate – which is only released quarterly and will not be out until January – is a better indication of the labour market although Tuesday’s seasonally adjusted data is an encouraging sign.