Spain`s unemployment crisis eases: Official data

The unemployment rate in Spain fell sharply in the second quarter slipping beneath 25.0-percent, official data showed on Thursday in a further sign that the country is pulling away from deep economic crisis.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 24, 2014, 13:36 PM IST

Madrid: The unemployment rate in Spain fell sharply in the second quarter slipping beneath 25.0-percent, official data showed on Thursday in a further sign that the country is pulling away from deep economic crisis.

The rate fell by 1.45 percentage points and the number of people looking for work fell by 310,400, marking the biggest quarterly fall since the series of statistics began, the data showed.

This was the first time the rate had been less than 25.0 percent, or one in four of the workforce, since the third quarter of 2012.

But 5.5 million people are still unemployed in Spain, which is slowly emerging from deep recession following the global financial crisis since years ago which burst a property bubble and threw the country into deep crisis.
Since then Spain, which was also caught by the eurozone debt crisis, has introduced deep reforms in its economy and has restructured its banking system at great cost, including exceptionally high unemployment.

Unemployment has hit young people in particular, as has been the case in some other crisis-hit eurozone countries, leading European Union leaders to speak of a "lost" generation.

However, on Wednesday, the Spanish central bank said that the economy had grown at the strongest rate for six years in the second quarter, expanding by 0.5 percent from output in the previous three months.

The bank also raised its forecasts for output for this year and next, saying the economy would grow by 1.3 percent this year and by 2.0 percent in 2015.
Official growth figures for the second quarter are to be published on Wednesday.

The Bank of Spain said growth between the first and second quarters of the year was the strongest since just before the global financial crisis began.

"In the second quarter, the recovery of the Spanish economy continued in a gradual way, in a context of normalising financial conditions, along with an improvement for employment and confidence," the bank said.