Spain jobless rate drops to 22.7 pct

  • 24/07/2015
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (Reuters)
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (Reuters)

Spain's unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 22.7 percent in the second quarter, prompting government boasting ahead of an election.

The key measure declined by 1.4 points from 23.78 percent in the previous quarter, with 5.15 million people unemployed overall – 295,600 fewer than in the first quarter, the National Statistics Institute said in a statement on Thursday (local time).

"Never in Spain's economic history have so many jobs been created in a single quarter," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a televised speech after the figures were released.

The unemployment level is still the second-highest in the eurozone after Greece, the starkest sign of the lingering damage from the economic crisis that erupted in 2008 after a building boom went bust.

"There are still many Spanish people and families having a very hard time. I will take care of that," Rajoy added in a Twitter message.

The government says the Spanish economy will create more than 600,000 jobs this year and start to chip away from next year at its debt mountain.

It has forecast the jobless rate to sink to 21.1 percent in 2015 and dip just below the symbolic 20 percent level in 2016.