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Unemployment surges as Spain tourism season ends

Source: Reuters - Tue 2th Oct 2012
Unemployment surges as Spain tourism season ends

The rate of unemployment increased further in September as services sector layoffs accelerated at the end of a busy summer tourist season, suggesting 15% of the country's workforce is now unemployed.

Data released earlier today by the Ministry of Labour revealed the jobless rate rose by 1.7% to leave 4.7 million people unemployed.

The figure had also risen in August after it fell during the summer season.

"There is a certain slowing down in the rate of increase in unemployment but the negative side is that jobs are still disappearing," said Estefania Ponte, head of economy at trading house Cortal Consors.

She said how today's data suggested the rate of unemployment in Spain - already the highest in the EU - would likely have hit 25% during Q3.

Monthly jobless data records the number of Spaniards registered as out of work, while the unemployment rate, which hit a record high of 24.6% in Q2, is an official survey and considered a more reliable gauge of the jobs market.

"(Tuesday's) figures added to the rise in IVA (from September 1) suggest consumer spending will continue at very low levels during the third quarter and above all in the last quarter of the year," Ponte said.

The data showed that the bulk of job losses were in the services sector, which covers hotels and restaurants most affected by the seasonal nature of tourism trade.

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