MADRID (AP) — The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain rose by 25,572 in September, bringing an end to a six-month streak of gradual declines, the country's Labor Ministry said Wednesday.
September usually sees unemployment rising as many jobs created in the summer tourist season come to an end. Even so, the ministry said it was the best September figure since 2007, just before Spain's key real estate sector collapsed initiating a severe economic crisis.
Speaking late Tuesday in Japan ahead of the ministry release, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it's "the best jobless data for September in many years." Though the figures may offer some encouragement, Spain will need many more months and years of improving data for it to make a real dent on unemployment, which according to the ministry stands at 4.7 million.
Over the year, it said the number of people registered as unemployed has fallen by 124,368. Spain's unofficial unemployment rate was 26.3 percent in the second quarter, the second highest in the 28-country European Union after Greece. Third quarter figures for Spain are due to be released Oct. 24.
Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years but the government predicts the economy will grow this year.