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Business

As Spain's economy heals, more find work

After a protracted financial crisis, Spain's economy is finally showing signs of a stable and sustainable recovery. The Labor Ministry has said far fewer out-of-work people are out looking for a job.

There were fewer Spaniards looking for work last month than in any March in the last 13 years, the Labor Ministry in Madrid said on Monday.

According to the government, the 60,214 fewer jobseekers marked a 1.3 percent drop in the overall unemployment rate over the previous month. Compared to one year ago, 343,927 fewer people were actively seeking employment - a fall of 7.2 percent.

The Labor Ministry only counts the number of jobless who are registered as such and actively seeking work. Unlike the statistics agency INE, it does not count those who are unemployed not yet looking for a job.

According to INE, Spain's overall unemployment rate at the end of 2014 was 23.7 percent. At the time, it said there were 5.46 million Spaniards out of work.

Labor Ministry estimates on Monday put that figure at 4.45 million.

Steady growth

Either way, the numbers show

Spain emerging from a protracted financial crisis

, which began when the 2008 real estate bubble in the country burst. Spain suffered some of the highest unemployment in the eurozone, with around half of young jobseekers unable to find work.

Now the economy is gaining traction, particularly in the service sector, the Labor Ministry said.

Unemployment in the eurozone

on the whole is also down. Last month, the bloc's official statistics agency Eurostat said overall unemployment had fallen to 11.3 percent in February from 11.4 percent the previous month.

In Germany, the level of job seekers is at a

post-reunification low

- yet another sign that Europe's largest economy was expanding, galvanized by strong domestic demand.

cjc/el (Reuters, AFP)

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