Jobless total in Spain passes the five million mark

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THE unemployment total in Spain has passed the five million mark, shooting up from 21.5 per cent to 22.8 per cent.

There were 5.3 million jobless at the end of last month, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter.

Spain already has the highest unemployment rate in the 17-nation eurozone. Unemployment in the UK stands at 2.68 million – a rate of 8.4 per cent.

The new conservative Popular Party government has pledged new labour reforms to try to halt further job losses.

The economy is expected to slide back into recession this quarter due to declines in gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2011 and the first of 2012.