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Sunday 09th of January 2011
January 4, 2011    

Spanish unemployment drops, Germany sees rise in jobless

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by Kay Murchie

The labour ministry today announced unemployment fell in Spain in December.

Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate in the EU, has been hit by a severe slump within its key construction industry, which has led to a significant amount of job losses.

Growth in the economy, which is Europe’s fifth-biggest, declined for seven consecutive quarters after entering recession the second-half of 2008 – due to the collapse of the property market.

Figures today revealed there were 4,100,073 people registered as jobless in December - down 0.25% from the previous month, bringing the unemployment rate down for the first time in five months.

In the meantime, Germany, which is Europe’s biggest economy, saw a rise in the number of people out of work.

The Federal Labour Office said unemployment rose in December by 3,000 from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 3.15 million.

The latest figures meant the unemployment rate held steady at 7.5% - in line with forecasts.

Germany’s job market is much stronger than in many other countries and many believe it is the result of the “Kurzarbeit” scheme, introduced by the German Government, designed to prevent mass redundancies.

Last year, Germany’s unemployment rate plunged to 7.7% from 8.2% in 2009 as a result of the Government initiative.

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