Crisis: Spain hits new joblessness high at almost 5 million

+11% in a year, fewer registered for social security benefits

04 December, 14:52

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, DECEMBER 4 - Spain's unemployment rate continued to grow in November, reaching almost 5 million - a new record high of 74,296 more jobless compared with the previous month. These figures were released today by the Labour and Social Security Ministry. The overall number of unemployed is 4,907,817 people, a rise of 487,355 people in one year (more than 11%). Almost 38,000 of the newly unemployed (reported the sources) are the effect of the discharge of special obligatory contracts of the Social Security Institute for non-professional assistants for the disabled. This is the direct effect of measures adopted in July by Mariano Rajoy's conservative government in the decree for service cuts affecting the disabled, on the basis of which non-professional caregivers must pay social security contributions which previously had been paid by the state. A sharp drop was also seen in November for the number of those signed up for social security benefits, down by 111,782 - about 205,678 fewer than at the beginning of the year. In the sector breakdown, 85% of the newly unemployed were from the tertiary sector while the rest were from agriculture or manufacturing.

Labour Minister Fatima Banez has admitted that ''it is clearly a negative figure'', in commenting on the unemployment rate today. However, she went on to defend the government's policies, saying that '' despite having made the appropriate decisions and asked for enormous efforts from citizens, the recession continues to have painful consequences for all Spaniards.'' She said that ''the government is working every day to change the situation.'' (ANSAmed).

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