Spain jobless rate hits record 27.2%

Spain’s National Statistics Institute says the country’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

The agency said Thursday the number of people unemployed rose by 237,400 people in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, taking the total to 6.2 million.

The huge sums poured into the global financial system by major central banks have eased bond market pressure on Spain, but the cuts Madrid has made in spending to regain investors’ confidence have left it deep in recession.

“These figures are worse than expected and highlight the serious situation of the Spanish economy as well as the shocking decoupling between the real and the financial economy,” strategist at Citi in Madrid Jose Luis Martinez told Reuters.

Protests have become commonplace across the country and thousands of police have been drafted in to Madrid to handle a march on Parliament on Thursday.

But few believe the government’s plans will be ambitious enough to restart the ailing economy and create jobs.  The International Monetary Fund sees Spanish unemployment at 26.5 percent next year.

Full article: Spain jobless rate hits record 27.2% (France 24)

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