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Spain's unemployment total falls

The number of Spanish people registered as unemployed fell in February for the first time since the global financial crisis started, official figures show.

The Labour Ministry said the jobless total was down by 1,949 to 4.81 million. Though modest, it is the first drop for the month since 2007 and a further sign that the Spanish economy is recovering.

On an annual basis, the jobless figure was down by 227,736.

Quarterly unemployment surveys - considered more accurate by economists - put Spain's unemployment rate at 26% in the fourth quarter of 2013, with 6 million people out of work. The rate is the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

Spain's problems began in 2008 with the collapse of its property sector.

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