Spanish unemployment rose for the first time in five months in August – as happens every year as the tourism season ends.
The country has enjoyed a record summer for holiday visitors, which has helped the Spanish economy shrug off a prolonged period of political uncertainty, with two inconclusive elections in the past eight months.
Compared with July the jobless number rose by 0.39 percent, or 14,435 people, leaving 3.7 million out of work.
Increases in unemployment are common in Spain in August, as factories reduce activity in what is the peak holiday season.
Hotels and restaurants, meanwhile, continued to create jobs last month though the services sector as a whole laid off staff, the Labour Ministry said.
Spain now faces a renewed challenge to keep its economic recovery on track though the underlying pattern suggested a long but gradual recovery in the labour market.
Compared to August last year, there were nearly 520,000 more people in work.
A slow but steady recovery in Spain’s jobs market has so far underpinned a consumer spending rebound.
That in turn has helped economic growth stay robust in the first two quarters of the year, meaning Spain can ill afford any slowdown in job creation.