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SPANISH JOBLESS RATE DIPS.

Spain announced a dip in its towering unemployment rate last Thursday in the latest sign that the eurozone's fourth-largest economy is battling its way out of a long recession.

The jobless rate eased for the second straight quarter to a still high 25.98 percent in the third quarter of 2013, a report by the National Statistics Institute showed.

The news dovetailed with a Bank of Spain assessment the previous day that Spain had emerged from recession in the third quarter with timid 0.1 percent economic growth.

The number of people out of work in Spain dipped by 72,800 to 5.9 million in the third quarter, lowering the unemployment rate from the previous quarter's 26.26 percent.

It was the second straight quarter showing a drop in the unemployment rate, which peaked at a staggering 27.16 percent in the first three months of 2013.

For young people, the employment news remains bleak with 54.39 percent of 16 to 24-year-old out of work, according to the latest report. Every member of some 1.8 million Spanish households is out of work.

Rajoy's government is promising better times ahead, however, forecasting an overall economic decline in Spain of 1.3 percent in 2013 and then a return to growth of 0.7 percent over 2014.

It forecasts an unemployment rate of 26.6 percent this year and 25.9 percent in 2014.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that Spain's unemployment rate will stay above 25 percent until 2018 unless Rajoy's government undertakes deeper labor market reforms.

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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Nov 3, 2013
Words:260
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