Spain announced Friday its jobless rate surged to a 13-year record above 20 percent at the end of 2010, the highest level in the industrialised world, as the economy gasped for air.
It was more bad news for an economy fighting to regain the trust of financial markets and avoid being trapped in a debt quagmire that has engulfed Greece and Ireland and now menaces Portugal.
Another 121,900 people joined Spain's unemployment queues in the final quarter of the year, pushing the total to 4.697 million people, said the national statistics institute INE.
The resulting unemployment rate was 20.33 percent for the end of the year -- easily exceeding Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's target of 19.4 percent.
Spain appears to be stuck in a rut of staggeringly high levels of unemployment.
After posting a jobless rate of 18.83 percent in 2009 and now 20.33 percent in 2010, the government is forecasting 19.3 percent for 2011 and 17.5 percent in 2012.
The Spanish economy, the European Union's fifth biggest, slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of a labour-intensive construction boom.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Spain's unemployment rate surges to 20%.
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