Spain's unemployment rises again


Registered unemployment in Spain, where almost half of young people are out of work, rose for a fifth month in December as the euro area's fourth-largest economy contracted.

The number of people registering for unemployment benefits rose 1,897 to 4.42 million, the labour ministry in Madrid said in an e-mailed statement today. In November, it surged 59,536.

Spain's economy contracted in the final months of the year as tourism and exports, the drivers of its first-half recovery from a three-year slump, weakened, the Bank of Spain said on December 29th.

Labour minister Fatima Banez met union leaders and employers last week as both parties have been asked by prime minister Mariano Rajoy to negotiate an overhaul to labour rules by around January 6th.

Mr Rajoy told them to address changes to collective wage-bargaining rules and ways to resolve labour conflicts outside the courts.