Spain's unemployment numbers declined for a third consecutive month in June as the country prepared for the start of the summer tourism season.
The country is in the throes of a deepening recession as well as a debt crisis and has the highest jobless rate in the euro area. Despite the latest declines, the unemployment figure is likely to rise in the coming months as the government introduces more austerity measures and labor reforms.
In June, the number of people claiming jobless benefits fell by 98,853 from the month ago to 4.615 million, marking a record decline for the month, data from the Ministry of Employment and Social Security revealed Tuesday. In the same month last year, the figure declined by 67,858.
The number of unemployment persons total dropped for the third month in a row after peaking at 4.750 million in March. June is traditionally a good month for jobs, but a decline of nearly 100,000 was never seen before, Employment Secretary Engracia Hidalgo said. However, the economy has not yet begun to recover, the official added.
The ministry will monitor the evolution of the unemployment figures after this good June data to confirm if a positive trend is emerging, Hidalgo said.
The country's gross domestic product fell 0.3 percent sequentially in the first quarter, pushing the economy into a recession. Last week, the Bank of Spain said recession intensified in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Eurozone unemployment rate hit a new record high in May, as companies struggle to contain their costs in the midst of stringent competition and weak demand. The jobless rate rose to a record 11.1 percent, with Spain having the highest figure of 24.6 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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