Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spain Has Highest Rate of Unemployment in EU

The Spanish government released the bad news on Friday (October 28) that unemployment has now reached 21.5% in the third quarter, the highest level since 1996. Nearly 145,000 Spanish residents joined the ranks of the unemployed in the July-September period, bringing the total to more than 4.9 million people.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government embarked last year on an austerity program aimed at reducing Spain’s total public deficit to 3% of gdp by 2013, in line with EU guidelines.

COMMENT: On a positive note, there are indications that Spain’s robust export sector would hopefully begin hiring in the final months of 2011. Unfortunately, Spain’s jobless rate is the highest in the 27-member EU. The effects of the global recession were aggravated in Spain by the collapse of a long construction and property boom that made the country’s economy the envy of most of Madrid’s European partners. Spaniards will vote in the approaching November 20 general election where the conservative Popular Party is favored to defeat the incumbent Socialists.

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