Spain unemployment at 20.33pc

Madrid: Spain announced on Friday its jobless rate surged to a 13-year record above 20 per cent at the end of 2010, the highest level in the industrialized world, as the economy struggled 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 insititute 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 per cent.

Spain appears to be stuck in a rut of staggeringly high levels of unemployment.

After posting a jobless rate of 18.83 per cent in 2009 and now 20.33 per cent in 2010, the government is forecasting 19.3 per cent for 2011 and 17.5 per cent 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

It emerged with tepid growth of just 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 and 0.2 per cent in the second but then stalled with zero growth in the third.

Zapatero has said the fourth quarter will show positive growth which would pick up steam in 2011 but he warned that job creation would be 'far from what we need and desire. It will be slow and progressive'.

Last month the government announced it was scrapping a 426-euro ($568) monthly subsidy for the long-term unemployed so as to slash the public deficit and ease fears that it will need an EU bailout.

The government forecasts a 0.3-per cent drop in growth this year will be followed by an expansion of 1.3 per cent in 2011.

Madrid estimates 70 per cent of the two million jobs which were lost in Spain since the start of the economic downturn were directly or indirectly related to the construction sector.

Last year the government introduced a hotly contested labour market reform that cut the country's high cost of firing workers and gave companies more flexibility to reduce working hours and staff levels in economic downturns - changes that he argued would boost job creation.

Spaniards see unemployment as Spain's biggest problem and one in two, 49.8 per cent, fear the jobless situation will get worse, a poll published by the CIS research firm this month showed.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/54532" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-b677ce04d8618e97bdbed2a9e3bbfe0b" value="form-b677ce04d8618e97bdbed2a9e3bbfe0b" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="61526996" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.