Record surge in unemployment

October sees record surge in unemployment

Number out of work jumps to highest level since 1996
El Pais English Edition Nov 5th A. S., Madrid

Spain suffered its biggest jump on record in jobless claims in October as economic activity slumped, leaving households looking at increasingly bleak times ahead. The Labor Ministry said the number of registered unemployed surged by 192,658, or 7.3 percent, in the month from September, with the labour market shedding over 6,000 jobs a day. Compared with the samemonth a year earlier, the ranks of the unemployed swelled by 769,449, or 37.5 percent, to over 2.8 million, the highest figure since 1996.

The job figures were announced just a day after Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero pledged to provide mortgage relief for family heads who have lost their jobs, and offer employers incentives to take on more workers. “The figures are clearly negative and reflect the direct fall- out from the international financial crisis, which in the case of Spain has caused a downturn in activity, and consequently an exceptional increase in unemployment,” the secretary general for employment, Maravillas Rojo, admitted. “The figures are bad; there is nothing else you can say,”

Economy Minister Pedro Solbes said. Just under half a million construction workers have lost their jobs in the past 12 months as home-building activity shuddered to a halt after a collapse in the housing market. The slump in the construction sector has had a knock-on effect on the rest of the economy, particularly in ancillary industries. The services sector, the biggest employer in Spain, lost 113,720 jobs in October, while jobless claims in industry rose by 20,144.October sees record surge in unemployment

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