Spain: Unemployment reaches 18-year high
April 27, 2012
In the first quarter, the unemployment rate rose to 24.4% (5.64 million people), which was up from the 22.9% rate recorded in the fourth quarter. At the current level, the unemployment rate remains well above the 21.3% registered in the same period the previous year and marks, in fact, its highest level since the first quarter of 1994. According to the survey, the economy lost 374,300 jobs in the first quarter, with the largest declines recorded in the services (184,800) and construction sectors (90,200). 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. The government anticipates the unemployment rate to average 24.3% this year and to inch down to 24.2% in 2013.