Spain's unemployment hits record high of 27 percent

Apr 25, 2013 12:00 AM

Spain's unemployment rate has jumped to a record high of 27.2 percent. According to Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE) some 6.2 million people are without work.

The Spanish statistics body reported that the nation's unemployment rate shot up from 26.02 percent in the last quarter of 2012 to 27.16 percent in the first three months of this year.

The INE said the increase reflected the additional 237,400 people registered as unemployed in the first quarter of 2013.

With more than six million people out of work, the eurozone's fourth largest economy now has the highest unemployment rate since records began in the 1970s.

Spain is in the midst of a double-dip recession triggered by the collapse of a property boom in 2008. Unemployment figures have since risen year-on-year despite hefty financial bailouts from international lenders.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is due to unveil a new package of economic reforms designed to revive the nation's struggling economy on Friday. His conservative government has offered reassurances that crippling austerity measures, which have so far driven Spain's response to the economic crisis, will not be included in the new reform plan.

Speaking in parliament on Wednesday he warned that unemployment figures throughout the year "will not be good," but are set to improve in 2014.

"Next year we will have growth and jobs created in our country," Rajoy said.

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