Unemployment in Spain tops 6.1m, says Eurostat

Figures from EU statistics office puts November jobless rate at 26.6 percent

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said Tuesday that Spain’s jobless rate hit 26.6 percent in November, up from 26.2 percent in October and 23.0 percent for the same month a year earlier.

On that basis, the total number of people out of work in the country amounted to 6.157 million, after topping the six-million mark for the first time ever in October. Spain accounts for about a third of the 18.820 million people looking for work in the European Union.

Spain has also extended its woeful lead as the EU member with the highest unemployment rate. The average in the EU in November was 10.7 percent, and 11.8 percent in the euro zone. Both figures were unchanged from the previous month.

Despite the Spanish economy continuing to hemorrhage jobs, the EU commissioner for employment, Laszlo Andor, said Tuesday the increase in unemployment in Spain is probably close to peaking based on the latest available figures.

However, Andor said the levels of youth unemployment in Spain were extremely worrying. The jobless rate for those under 25 climbed from 55.8 percent in October to 56.5 percent in November. The average in the EU was 23.7 percent.

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