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Spain April unemployment fall leaked to press

Source: Reuters - Mon 3rd May 2010

Spanish government data showing registered jobless fell in April for the first time in nine months was leaked to Spanish media on Saturday in the second unplanned release of sensitive job data in less than a week.

Newspaper El Mundo said data showing unemployed people registered at government agencies fell by 24,000 in April was leaked by government sources to EFE news agency on Saturday ahead of its official release on Tuesday.

Another Spanish newspaper, ABC, obtained on Tuesday prematurely released unemployment data which showed Spanish unemployment grew to over 20 percent in the first quarter. The figures were confirmed by Spain's INE statistics institute in the official release on Friday.

Spain's mass unemployment, the highest in the euro zone, has crimped economic activity and made Spain one of the few countries in Europe not to bounce back to positive growth.

Spanish business association CEOE frequently demands the government reform the country's labor market to make it more flexible, but trade unions have said workers rights should not be made vulnerable.

Spanish union leader Candido Mendez said on Saturday that any attempts by the government to lower compensation payments for unemployed workers will generate confrontation in Spain's labor market.

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