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Leaked figures show unemployment expected to rise over 20%

Wed 28th Apr 2010

A system error has shown that unemployment figures in Spain are set to rise beyond the 20% mark. The figures were released by the EPA survey of the active population, and was placed in error on the webpage of the INE National Statistics Institute, for just a few minutes.

The findings were not supposed to be released until the last day of the month, and if these leaked figures should prove to be correct, it will be the first time that unemployment has risen above 20% in Spain since 1997.

The figures reveal that during the first quarter of the year unemployment reached 20.5%, with the number out of work at the end of March reaching 4,612,700 – a figure that is 286,000 more than at the end of 2009.

The INE will neither confirm the numbers or make any comment until the end of the month.

Prime Minister Zapatero admitted ‘Our unemployment rate has reached its highest level', and later described it as ‘excessively high'. He also claimed that he felt ‘responsible for the situation in which people who have lost their jobs find themselves', but added that 80% of those out of work received ‘some form of protection'

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