Spain′s army of jobless surpasses 5 million mark | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.03.2013
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Spain's army of jobless surpasses 5 million mark

The number of people out of work in Spain has risen to more than 5 million people for the first time. The government in Madrid said there was no quick fix, with the economy expected to contract further this year.

Unemployed people line up at a job center in Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, Spain on 10 February 2010. The number of unemployed workers in Spain increased in January 2010 by 124,890 people from December 2009, according to the Government's Survey of the Working Population (EPA in Spanish). This is the sixth consecutive rise of the level of unemployment in Spain. The EPA shows that Spain reached its highest level of unemployment ever in December 2009, when 4,326,000 people (18.83 per cent of the working population) were unemployed. EPA/FERNANDO VILLAR

Spanien Arbeitslose in Madrid

Registered unemployment in Spain surpassed the five-million mark in February, the country's Labor Ministry said Monday.

It said joblessness now affected 5.04 million people, up some 59,000 from the levels recorded in January. The ministry said many companies across the southern European nation continued to lay off staff because of unfavorable business prospects.

The February figures marked Spain's highest number of people out of work since the country became a democracy in 1975 after the death of General Francisco Franco.

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The fourth-largest economy of the 17-member eurozone logged the largest loss of jobs in the dominant service sector, followed by layoffs in industry and agriculture.

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Spain has been reeling from the bursting of a real-estate bubble in 2008, necessitating a bailout of the ailing banking sector. The conservative government of Mariano Rajoy had put in place painful spending cuts and tax rises aimed at saving 150 billion euros ($195 billion) between 2012 and 2014.

The cuts have not proven to be able to kick-start the economy which Madrid expects to contract by 0.5 percent this year, to be followed by an expansion of 1.2 percent in 2014.

hg/ipj (Reuters, AFP)

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