Spain's 24.6 percent unemployment a record

Aug. 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM
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MADRID, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The unemployment rate in financially distressed Spain rose to 24.6 percent in the second quarter, bringing the number of jobless to 5.7 million, officials said.

The National Statistics Institute said 53,500 were added to the unemployment total, Olive Press reported.

The second-quarter rate is up 0.2 percent from the previous three months, the institute said.

The unemployment rate for people below the age of 25 was 53 percent.

Olive Press said Spain's unemployment rate is the highest in the eurozone and surpasses the country's previous high of 24.5 percent in 1994.

Spain's economy is swooning and economists told the BBC they see few signs of improvement in the short run.

"Things are only going to get worse," Capital Economics' Ben May said. "With the economy unlikely to expand any time soon, and the dire position the economy is in, Spain is probably more likely to fall deeper into recession."

Earlier this week small Spanish union carried out raids on two grocery stores in one of the poorest regions of the country to try to draw attention to the problems facing the unemployed, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Hundreds of members affiliated with the Andalusian Union of Workers, representing primarily rural laborers in southern Spain, took 12 shopping carts full of food staples from one supermarket on Tuesday and pressed another grocer to donate a similar amount of food on Wednesday. Most of the items were given to local food banks.

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