LABOR

Unemployment drops by 98,800 in the best month on record

Joblessness drops in all sectors of the economy except agriculture

Unemployment in June dropped 2.10 percent from the previous month, owing to a rise in summer contracts in the booming tourism sector, the Labor Ministry said on Tuesday.

After months of grim news that saw Spain’s unemployment rate rise to 24 percent of the active population, the figure was the biggest drop on record for a single month since 1996, when the government officially began collecting reliable job data. It was also the third consecutive month in which unemployment has fallen, albeit very slightly in April and May.

Despite the positive indicator, Tomás Burgos, the secretary of state for Social Security, said the government was still “cautious.”

“We have to wait to see if this becomes an overall tendency,” echoed Deputy Labor Minister Engracia Hidalgo.

In real terms, there were 98,853 fewer people out of work in June than in May. The country’s official total unemployment figure now stands at 4,615,269, according to the ministry. With the exception of agriculture, where unemployment rose 1.182 percent, jobless rates fell in all areas, especially the services, construction and industry sectors. Andalusia and Catalonia were the two regions with the biggest drops, 18 and 15.3 percent respectively.

The number of people registered with Social Security also went up with 31,332 new affiliates in June bringing up the number of workers paying into the system to the 17-million mark.

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