Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Spain unemployment hits record high

People enter an office to register for job placement in Madrid as Spanish unemployment reached a record high (AP)

Spain's unemployment rate shot up to a record 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013, official figures show.

The country's National Statistics Institute said that the number of people unemployed rose by 237,400 people in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, taking the total to 6.2 million.

Spain is in recession again as it struggles to deal with the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008.

The conservative government has launched a series of financial and labour reforms and pursued a raft of spending cuts and tax increases that have managed to reduce a swollen deficit.

Even so, the country had the highest budget deficit among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro in 2012.

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