Spain: Unemployment hits new record as austerity bites
January 24, 2013
In the fourth quarter, the unemployment rate rose to 26.0%, which was up from the 25.0% rate recorded in the third quarter. At the current level, the unemployment rate is well above the 22.9% registered in the same period in the previous year and marks, in fact, a new record in the country's history. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed reached 5.97 million, up from the 5.78 million recorded in the third quarter.
According to the survey, the economy lost 363,300 jobs in the fourth quarter, driven by declines in services (-305,600), construction (-62,900) and industry (-58,500). Only the agricultural sector recorded gains in employment over the previous quarter, adding 63,700 jobs.
Rampant unemployment will continue to hamper private consumption in the near future and puts additional pressure on the already strained government's fiscal position, as unemployment benefits payments increase.