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Spanish job figures provide ray of hope

July 24, 2014

Spain's unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels in three years, an indication that the embattled European economy may finally be recovering from the Continent's crippling debt crisis in 2008.

People queue outside an unemployment registry office in Madrid
Image: AP

Spain's unemployment rate dropped sharply to 24.47 percent from April to June, its best quarter-on-quarter change in eight years, the country's statistics office said Thursday.

There were currently 5.6 million people without work in Spain, the lowest level recorded since late 2011, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said.

The number of unemployed people fell by 310,400 in the second quarter, facilitated by Easter week celebrations and the onset of summer, typically giving the country's tourism sector a leg up.

Compared to one year ago, there were 424,500 fewer unemployed people - the strongest annual decrease since 1999.

By comparison, there were 17.35 million people with a job in June, 402,400 more than in the previous quarter.

But the number of people considered active members of the workforce was only up by 92,000, putting the workforce rate at 59.63 percent of the population.

On the year, Spain added 192,400 new jobs - the best yearly spike since Spain was embroiled in the eurozone debt crisis in 2008.

cjc/hg (dpa, INE)