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Spain's unemployment falls in July

Source: Reuters - Tue 3rd Aug 2010

Spain's registered jobless total fell for the fourth straight month in July by 1.85 percent from June, the Labour Ministry said on Tuesday, as the busy tourist season provided a boost to employment.

Spanish unemployment has more than doubled in the last two years after the collapse of the construction industry on the back of a burst property bubble and sinking consumer confidence left Spaniards cutting back on visits to shops and restaurants.

Spanish registered jobless fell by 20,794 workers in July from June though was up 10.3 percent from the same month last year, the government data showed. The number of jobless in July stood at 3.91 million, down from 3.98 million in June.

"Over the last three months joblessness has fallen by over 35,000, which is a good trend. But a jobless rate of nearly 4 million will continue to weigh on growth performance for a significant amount of time," said Silvio Peruzzo, economist at RBS.

The data showed the biggest July fall in numbers out of work since 1998, suggesting prospects were improving from a low base.

However, Peruzzo said the summer seasonal boost may not last. "We have to be cautious given the data are not seasonally adjusted" he said.

Unemployment fell in all Spain's major economic sectors, down 2.6 percent in industry, 2.2 percent in construction and 1.9 percent in services, which accounted for the largest part of July's fall.

The monthly data does not offer an overall unemployment rate and only reports the number of workers registered with the government as out of work.

The unemployment rate reported by the National Statistics Institute, a more accurate measurement of the nation's unemployed, stood at 20.09 percent in the second quarter.

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