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April 27, 2010    

Spain’s unemployment rate exceeds 20%

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by Kay Murchie
Spain’s unemployment rate exceeds 20%

Official figures have today revealed that Spain’s unemployment rate has reached 20.05% - the highest level in 13 years.

The economy has been hit by a severe slump within its key construction industry, which has led to a significant amount of job losses.

Spain’s jobless rate is double the 10% for the euro zone as a whole with the total number of jobless in the country at 4.61 million.

The Spanish economy, which is the euro zone’s fourth largest, now has the highest rate of unemployment within the 16-member euro zone.

A recent report suggested the unemployment rate could hit 25%.

It was recently unveiled that the economy is still in recession after it contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009 – the seventh consecutive quarter of contraction.

The figures from the INE, the national statistics agency, show that Spain is now the last major economy still in recession.

However, the Government has forecast a return to growth in the second half of this year.

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