Spain's jobless rate hits 22.9%


The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Spain rose by 112,269 in January, taking the overall figure to 4.7 million.

Spain’s unemployment rate stands at 22.9 per cent, the highest in the 17-member euro zone.

The Spanish economy posted negative growth in the fourth quarter of last year and is expected to enter recession this quarter.

The new right-leaning Popular Party government has introduced a series of reforms in a desperate attempt to shake up the economy but it acknowledges that unemployment is likely to continue rising throughout this year.

The employment ministry said today that the total number of people claiming benefits was up by more than 400,000 from February last year.