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Unemployment forecast for Spain 2012

Wed 2th Feb 2011

Spain's unemployment figures took a turn for the worse in January, with the country now holding the highest rate of unemployment in the developed world, after this month saw an end to five straight consecutive months of an improvement in figures, the labour ministry reported earlier today.

Unemployment levels now stand at 4.23 million people as of January, an increase of 130,930 or 3.19% on the previous month and with more than 80% of these cuts coming from the service sector. When compare with the statistics from last January the figure had grown by 4.51 % - 182,510.

"This is a bad figure, because every time unemployment goes up this is negative," Spain's secretary of state for employment, Mari Luz Rodriguez commented.

Spain's National Institute of Statistics - INE - usues a different method to calculate the statistics to the Government, who reported lat week that the country's unemployment rate now stands at 20.3%. The rate now exceeds Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's target of 19.4% for 2011, and puts Spain as having the highest level of unemployment in the Industrialised world.

Spain's economy is currently the 4th largest in the eurozone, and slid into recession during the second half of 2008 as the collapse of contruction bubble only instensified the effects of the slump of the global economy.

The first quarter of 2010 brought growth of just 0.1%, followed by 0.2% in Q2, followed by a stalled zero growth in Q3. The Prime Minister has said that Q4 figures will show positive growth which will develop through 2011 but warned that job creation would be "far from what we need and desire. It will be slow and progressive."

The government increased its forecast for the jobless rate for 2011 to 19.3% back in October of last year, from a previous estimate of 18.9%. This was explained as the effects of government spending cuts aimed at reducing a massive public deficit and reassuring nervous markets that Spain will not need a similar bailout to seen in other European countries.

It predicts that unemployment levels will fall to 17.5% by next year and 16.2% by 2013.

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