Spain's jobless level hits record 4.75 million

Protesters in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, 29 March Unions organised a general strike on 29 March to protest against labour market reform

Related Stories

The number of Spanish jobseekers rose for the eighth month in a row in March to hit a record 4.75 million.

The Labour Ministry said the number of people filing for unemployment benefits rose by 38,769 with the services sector seeing the most jobs lost.

The jobless rate in Spain stood at 23.6% in February, according to EU figures released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Spain has said its public debt will leap more than 10 percentage points this year to 79.8% of GDP.

'Recovering confidence'

The Finance Ministry said: "Public debt will rise from 68.5% of GDP at the end of 2011 to 79.8%, a level which is still below the eurozone average of 90.4%."

It comes as Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro presented his government's 2012 budget to parliament.

The package, which was approved by the cabinet on Friday, includes 27bn euros' ($36bn; £22.5bn) worth of spending cuts and tax increases.

"We are convinced that this budget will meet the challenge of recovering the confidence of our European partners," Mr Montoro told a news conference held in parliament.

The European Union has set a ceiling for public debt of 60% of gross domestic product.

'Unsatisfactory situation'

The unemployment figures released on Tuesday show that the situation is worse for young Spaniards, as youth unemployment is running at 50%.

Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union and it is expected to rise further this year.

The government hopes that reform to the labour market will help ease the problem.

Its measures include cutting back on severance pay and restricting inflation-linked salary increases.

But those measures have angered unions, who organised a general strike last Thursday.

Secretary of State for Employment Engracia Hidalgo said in a statement: "We continue to face an unsatisfactory situation of an increase in the number of people registered as unemployed.

"This is why it is necessary to reiterate the importance of creating confidence and flexibility for companies, as was done with the labour law reform."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories



  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents

  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?

  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force

  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath

  • A ship is dismantled for scrap in the port city of Chittagong, BangladeshDangerous work

    Bangladesh's ship breakers face economic challenge

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.