5 Nov 2008

Jobless numbers hit 12-year high in Spain

6:19 am on 5 November 2008

Unemployment in Spain is now 11.3% - a 12-year high.

The Ministry of Labour says it is the highest level in Europe. European Union statistics put the jobless figure even higher at 11.9%.

As recession looms, the number claiming unemployment benefit rose by 192,658 to 2,818,026 - the highest level since April 1996.

A severe slowdown in the construction industry is one of the the main causes of the economic slowdown.

Recent figures showed that the economy contracted by 0.2% in the third quarter compared to the previous three-month period.

Since October 2007, the number of those claiming jobless benefits has risen 37.5%.

On Monday, the government issued a plan to help unemployed people who have difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments.