Spanish unemployment holds steady
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy predicts an economic recovery later this year
People enter a government-run employment office in Madrid today. The number of people registered as jobless in Spain in August marginally declined from a month earlier, falling by just 31 people, leaving 4.7 million people out of work, data from the Labour Ministry shows. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters
Spanish unemployment was little changed in August, stabilising for the first time during that month since 2000, as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy predicts an economic recovery later this year.
The number of people registering for jobless benefits fell by 31 from July, leaving claims at 4.7 million, the Labor Ministry in Madrid said today. Economists forecast an increase of 7,500.
While Spain’s current-account surplus increased in June and the number of tourist visits through July was the highest for that period since at least 2000, the country still contributes close to a third to all jobless people in the euro area. Unemployment in the 17-nation region held at a record 12.1 per cent in July and stood at 26.3 per cent in Spain.
“There are positive elements in leading indicators,” said Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said in an interview with radio Cadena Ser in Madrid today. “Light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel.”
The government maintains its forecast of an economic contraction of 1.3 percent for the full year after a two-year recession eased in the second quarter, Deputy Economy Minister Fernando Jimenez Latorre said last week. Growth will be flat or may reach 0.2 per cent in the third and fourth quarters, he said.