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Rise in Spanish unemployment in August

Fri 3rd Sep 2010

The number of those claiming unemployment benefits in Spain increased last month by about 61,000 as temporary summer work contracts began to expire, the Labor Ministry reported yesterday.

The Increase brings to an end a four-month run of declines and took the number of people seeking claims to 3.97 million, the ministry said.

The overall number of unemployed people in Spain, which includes those whose jobless benefits have run out, stood at 4.65 million in the second quarter, making for a jobless rate of 20.09 percent - a 13-year high and the worst in the euro zone.

Finance Minister Elena Salgado said Thursday's figure was "not bad" because claims traditionally rise in August as temporary workers in the tourism industry see their contracts run out. She noted that in 2007, when the economy was red hot, claims still rose by 58,000.

Over the past 12 months the number of people filing for benefits has risen 9.3 percent.

Spain is struggling to crawl out of nearly two years of recession following the collapse of its construction sector, which had been a key engine of growth.

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