28 Apr 2012

Jobless numbers at record level in Spain

5:38 am on 28 April 2012

Unemployment in Spain is now at its highest level in 18 years.

Nearly a quarter of the workforce is now jobless - the highest rate of all 17 countries in the eurozone.

More than 5.5 million people in Spain are out of work. Some 365,900 have lost their jobs since the start of the year alone.

"The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government ... Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

The new government has announced reforms to the labour market, including cutting back on severance pay and restricting inflation-linked salary increases, that it hopes will ease the problem.