Spain’s unemployment rate climbed to nearly 26 percent in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed Tuesday, as millions searched in vain for a job in a halting recovery from recession.
Despite emerging gingerly from a two-year downturn in mid-2013, the latest figures showed Spain still failing to significantly dent one of the highest unemployment rates in the industrialized world.
The unemployment rate climbed to 25.93 percent in the first three months of 2014, up from 25.73 percent in the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute said.
It was not all bad news.
The unemployment queue shrank fractionally, by just 2,300 people to 5.93 million. But the jobless nevertheless made up a bigger share of the total workforce, which is shrinking as people leave the country or give up the hope of a job.
Spain’s unemployment rate fell to a record low of 7.93 percent in the second quarter of 2007, towards the end of a decade-long property bubble.
But a 2008 real estate crash sent the jobless rate soaring to reach an unprecedented 26.94 percent in the first quarter of 2013 before easing just a little by the end of the year, the latest data show.
Spain’s unemployment data for the past decade were revised last week to take account of updated population figures.