Spanish jobless total nears 5 million

4 December 2012

A new record for unemployment in Spain.

The number of people officially registered as without a job is closing in on five million as the country’s recession continues unabated.

The unemployment rate – which is released separately every quarter – stood at 25 percent of the workforce at the end of September, with over half of all young people out of work.

From October to November, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit rose by 74,296, a one and a half percent increase, to 4.9 million.

Luis Fernandez, 31, who recently lost his job, said: “If I can not find anything I’ll just leave the country, that’s it. It is the quickest and most immediate solution: trying my luck elsewhere, obviously not here.”

November saw the fourth straight monthly rise in the number of people registered as unemployed in Spain.

And Spaniards are increasingly cynical about promises from politicians like Labour Minister Fatima Bàñez who said: “Certainly it’s a bad rate. The joblessness total continues to rise. But we are working to change this, to turn this situation around.To win over unemployment, to restrain the crisis.”

The high jobless rate deters consumers from spending pushing the country deeper into a recession made worse by billions in tax hikes and government spending cuts.

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