Spain: Unemployment continues to reach new highs
July 27, 2012
In the second quarter, the unemployment rate rose to 24.6% (5.69 million people), which was up from the 24.4% rate recorded in the first quarter. At the current level, the unemployment rate is well above the 20.9% registered in the same period last year and marks, in fact, its highest level since the first quarter of 1994. Moreover, in absolute terms, the second quarter figure marks a new record in the number of unemployed people in the country. According to the survey, the economy lost 15,900 jobs in the second quarter, driven by declines in the agriculture (-44,000) and industrial sectors (-21,000). On a positive note, employment in the construction and services sectors increased over the previous period. 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.