Spain Unemployment Rate Remains at 26 Percent

Spain’s sky-high unemployment rate remained stuck at 26 percent in the fourth quarter as the economy expanded but not enough to trigger job growth, according to a pair of government reports issued Thursday.

The jobless rate for the October-December period rose to 26.03 percent from 25.98 percent in the previous quarter and the number of unemployed stood at a rounded 5.9 million people, the National Statistics Agency said.

Separately, the Bank of Spain issued preliminary figures showing the country’s economy grew 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter after registering a 0.1 percent rise in the previous quarter following nine quarters of declines. For the whole of 2013, economic activity shrank 1.2 percent.

The statistics agency is expected to confirm the bank’s GDP figures in a preliminary report on Jan. 30 while the final report will be issued on Feb. 27.

The unemployment report said jobs were lost in Spain’s services, construction and industry sectors but were added in agriculture.

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza