Spain's registered jobless figure spikes in January as Christmas jobs end

Associated Press + More

MADRID (AP) — Spanish government figures show that the number of people registered as unemployed rose by 113,097 in January as temporary job contracts created over Christmas came to an end.

The Labor Ministry said Tuesday that the reduction put the total number of those registered in unemployment offices at 4.81 million. Year-on-year, the figure was down 166,343.

Quarterly unemployment surveys — seen as more accurate by economists — show Spain's unemployment rate was 26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, with 6 million people out of work. The rate is the second highest in the 28-country European Union after Greece.

Spain is battling to recover from a two-year recession. However, the government insists the economy is improving and will create jobs in 2014.

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