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Ranks of jobless fall below five-million mark for first time in five years

Source: El Pais - Sun 25th Oct 2015
Ranks of jobless fall below five-million mark for first time in five years

For the first time in four years, Spain's unemployment rate has dropped below the five-million mark, with the good news also accompanied by a rise in the number of jobs in the economy.

Some 4.85 million people still remain without work across Spain, but the ranks of the jobless have fallen by 289,000 from five million in 2011, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA), conducted by the government's National Statistics Institute (INE).

Spain's official unemployment rate is now at 21.18% of the active population – 1.2 percentage points down on the second quarter of 2015.

The latest data has been released two months before the general elections, in which PM Mariano Rajoy's ruling Popular Party (PP) is expected to face a tough battle to retain a majority of seats in Congress.

With the help of labor reforms and other economic measures, Rajoy's government created 182,200 more jobs during the third quarter, according to the INE.

The rise in job figures, however, is partly due to temporary summer employment across the nation. The hike in tourism this past year helped create 205,500 temporary jobs from July to September.

In the regions, more people went to work in Catalonia (35,800) and the Balearic Islands (29,600) this past summer. In Galicia, 29,100 more people also found jobs.

Jobless figures in all the regions, except for Extremadura, dropped during the third quarter, the INE reported.

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* Spain to meet 2015 deficit target : Economny Minister

* EU says Spain too optimistic on growth, warns on deficit

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