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Spain's jobless total hits 5.3m

Spain's unemployment total has passed the five million mark, with the jobless rate shooting up from 21.5% to 22.8%.

There were 5.3 million people out of work at the end of last month, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter.

The figure was lower than the 5.4 million estimated by Spain's finance minister on Thursday.

Spain already has the highest unemployment rate in the 17-nation eurozone.

Unemployment in the UK stands at 2.68 million - a rate of 8.4%.

The new conservative Popular Party government has pledged new labour reforms to try to halt further job losses.

The economy is expected to slide back into recession this quarter because of declines in gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2011 and the first of 2012.

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