Spain's Unemployment Rate Hits New Eurozone Record Of 21.3 Percent

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Spain's Unemployment Rate Hits New Eurozone Record Of 21.3 Percent

Post by Admin on Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:57 am

MADRID -- Spain's unemployment rate rose sharply to a new eurozone high of 21.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, with a record 4.9 million people out of work, the government said Friday. The rate was the highest reported by the country since 1997.

Joblessness during the January-March period jumped 1 percentage point from 20.3 percent at the end of 2010, and adds pressure on Spain as it tries to recover from nearly two years of recession and convince investors that it can handle its heavy debt load.

The country is struggling to shift away from dependence on the construction sector, which supported growth for years until the financial crisis popped the Spain's real estate bubble, as well as make the economy more competitive and reduce national debt.

The number of unemployed people in Spain stood at 4,910,200 at the end of March, up about 214,000 from the previous quarter, said the National Statistics Institute, or INE.

In an unemployment line in a working-class Madrid neighborhood, people grimly waiting to sign up for benefit payments said they saw little hope of finding new jobs for years.

"Jobs were lost across the entire Spanish economy, with services, manufacturing, agriculture and construction all taking hits.

Adding to the bad news for households, consumer prices rose sharply, INE said Friday. The consumer price inflation rate jumped to an annual 3.8 percent in April, up two-tenths of a point from March. Higher fuel prices prompted by unrest in the Middle East and North Africa have been pushing the rate up since January.

Spain must hold a general election by March 2012, and polls show the governing Socialists trailing badly. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has stated he will not seek a third term.

As much of Europe and Germany in particular recovers from the global recession, Spain is forecasting meager growth of just 1.3 percent for itself in 2011, and even the Bank of Spain says that prediction is too optimistic.

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Re: Spain's Unemployment Rate Hits New Eurozone Record Of 21.3 Percent

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:46 am

Spain relied heavily on a real estate and industry economy. But in the last few years, industry was outsourced, and the real estate investment stopped, so they will take the hit, and i don't think there is nothing they can do now. The speculators will drag them to the ground, and Merkel's game will be over.

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