Number of Spanish jobless falls again in March

The number of people registered as out of work fell by 16,620 last month

Jobseekers enter an employment office after opening in Madrid.  Spain’s unemployment rate stood at 26 per cent in the last quarter of 2013. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Jobseekers enter an employment office after opening in Madrid. Spain’s unemployment rate stood at 26 per cent in the last quarter of 2013. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 09:37

The number of jobless in Spain fell in March, Labour Ministry figures showed on Wednesday, while the workforce grew from a year earlier as signs of job creation coincide with a slow return to growth.

Spain’s economy emerged from a two-year recession in the second half of 2013 and preliminary economic data suggests output continued to rise in the first quarter.

But its joblessness level remains among the highest in the European Union.

The number of people registered as out of work fell by 0.35 per cent from February, or by 16,620 people, leaving 4.8 million officially out of work.

The figure marks the second straight month of declines and is the sharpest monthly fall for March since 2006, the ministry said.

In annual terms, the number of people signed on as unemployed fell by 4.75 per cent, while the average number of people paying in to the social security system, the official working population, rose 0.71 per cent to 16.2 million.

Spain’s workforce grew in annual terms for the first time since 2008 in February, according to the social security roll.

The monthly registered jobless figures from the Labour Ministry complement a quarterly unemployment survey from National Statistics Institute that is considered a more accurate picture of the labour market.

The quarterly figure showed Spain’s unemployment rate stood at 26 per cent in the last quarter of 2013, the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

Reuters