The number of people registered as without a job in Spain fell for the third straight month in June. It was down by 2.1 percent from May.
That is the sharpest monthly drop in five years and a sign of recovery in the country’s battered labour market.
Joblessness fell in almost all Spain’s major economic sectors, industry, construction and services.
But overall the total was up 11.7 percent on June last year.
euronews Spanish business reporter Francisco Garcia said: “This is an important and symbolic dip with the number falling below that rather frightening four million figure. But it is summer and tourism always has an effect on the unemployment numbers. It’s a good figure, but there no connection with the ongoing labour market reforms and this doesn’t compensate for the jobs that were destroyed last year.”
Spanish unemployment has more than doubled in the last two years after the collapse of the construction industry following the bursting of the property bubble.
Sinking consumer confidence has left Spaniards less likely to shop and eat out.
In May unemployment throughout the euro zone was unchanged at 10 percent.
The EU’s statistical office said just under 15.8 million people were without jobs, 35,000 more than in April.
A long and steady deterioration in the labour market may be over for now but the outlook is poor as austerity programmes bite.