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Almost Five Million Unemployed in Spain

Madrid, October 2 (RHC)-- Official figures show that the unemployment rate in Spain has increased again with nearly five million people out of work in the recession-hit country.

Figures released by Spain's Labor Ministry on Wednesday indicated that the number of people registered as out of work rose by 25,572 people last month. The ministry added that the total number of unemployed people in Spain remained at around 4.7 million.

The rise brought an end to a six-month streak of gradual declines in the unemployment rate of the Eurozone's fourth-largest economy. The official jobless rate in Spain hit over 26 percent in the second quarter of this year.

Last week, the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy predicted that the unemployment rate would be 26.6 percent in the current year and 25.9 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that Madrid faces five more years with a jobless rate of over 25 percent, unless it implements new reforms including measures to assist firms in slashing wages instead of cutting staff.

On September 13, the IMF added Spain to a list of countries with relatively large economic imbalances, saying that public debt continues to rise in the European country. Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking millions of jobs with it.

The Spanish government has been sharply criticized over its austerity measures that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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