Six million unemployed in Spain

Austerity strike in Spain

Spain's unemployment rate has shot up to 26.02% with nearly six million people now out of work.

The country's National Statistics Institute said today that the rate rose by one per cent between the third and fourth quarters of last year.

It said 691,700 more people lost their jobs last year.

Spain is in the throes of its second recession in just over three years following the collapse of its once-booming property sector in 2008.

The year-old conservative government, battling to reduce a swollen deficit and avoid a bailout, has brought in major financial and labour reforms and applied severe cutbacks in wages and spending but so far the economy has shown few signs of recovery.

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