Spain's jobless level falls by 100,000 in June

Protesters in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, 29 March Unions have organised protests against labour market reform designed to cut unemployment

The number of people looking for work in Spain fell almost 100,000 in June, a record for the month, to 4.62 million.

The Labour Ministry said the number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell by 98,853, or 2.1%, compared with the previous month.

June is generally a good month for employment as it marks the beginning of the tourist season.

Despite the fall, the unemployment rate in Spain is still the highest in the eurozone.

According to EU figures published on Monday, one in four of the Spanish workforce is out of a job, compared with an overall rate of unemployment for the 17-member bloc of 11.1%.

Reform

"June is traditionally good for the unemployment queue but we have never reached a decline of nearly 100,000 people," said Spain's state secretary for labour, Engracia Hidalgo.

"We will have to follow the development of the unemployment figures after this good data for June to verify whether we are turning towards a positive trend."

June is the third month in a row that the number of unemployed has fallen in Spain. In March, the number of jobseekers hit a record high of 4.75 million.

The Spanish government is implementing a number of labour market reforms to try to reduce unemployment, including cutting back on severance pay and restricting inflation-linked salary increases. These have proved very unpopular with unions and workers.

However, it has been forced to approve billions of euros of spending cuts and tax increases in an effort to reduce its debt levels, which have had a negative impact on employment within the economy.

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