Spanish Unemployment Drops as Eurozone Strengthens

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By Ian Silvera | December 3, 2013 8:26 PM EST

People wait in a queue to enter a government-run employment office in Madrid (Reuters)

Spain has seen a sudden turn in fortunes as unemployment fell in the embattled country by almost 2,500 in November, according to official figures.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Security revealed the total jobless figure stood at 4,808,908 in November - a fall of 2,475 compared to the month before.

The government also said registered unemployment decreased by 98,909 people in the last year.

Engracia Hidalgo, Spain's Secretary of State for Employment, stressed the data reflected improvements seen in other aspects of the country's economy.

"We still have much work ahead, but we are convinced that the reforms adopted are the way necessary for our economy growing again and face retrieval from a more solid base, allowing the creation of stable and quality employment," added Hidalgo.

In addition, the research revealed unemployment had decreased among young people (under 25s) in the last year by 34,047 - representing a 7% decline against 2012.

The ministry also found unemployment for women in Spain had increased by 1,060 on the year, though it had decreased by 3,535 in November.

In total, the report said men account for 48.44% of all registered unemployed persons and women account for 51.56%.

The research found 2,761,379 people in Spain claimed unemployment benefits in October - representing 1.5% more than the month before and a 5.3% less than a year ago.

Eurozone

The figures follow the announcement from Eurostat, the statistical information arm of the European Union, that the unemployment rate across the eurozone fell for the first time since 2011 in October.

Eurostat said the jobless rate dipped to 12.1% in October, down from 12.2% in September.

The research also revealed the EU28 - the countries which make up the European Union - saw its unemployment rate remain stable at 10.9% over the same period.

However, the youth unemployment rate across the eurozone crept to a record high of 24.4% in October, up from 24.3% the month before.

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