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Unemployment in Spain falls below four million for first time since 2009

The jobless rate drops to 17.2%, nearly three percentage points lower than a year ago

An unemployment office in Spain.
An unemployment office in Spain.

In the second quarter of 2017, the number of people without work in Spain fell to below four million for the first time since the first three months of 2009, when unemployment rose above that threshold a few months after the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

The number of people out of work also experienced the biggest quarterly drop since current records began in 1964. With 340,700 fewer jobless claims, an 8% decline, the total figure was at just over 3.9 million. A year earlier that figure was 4.57 million people.

So far this year, the number of jobless claims has fallen by 660,400. The unemployment rate is now 17.2%, nearly three percentage points lower than 12 months ago, according to the latest quarterly labor force survey (EPA) released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute.

Spain is experiencing solid economic growth but there are concerns over the temporary and part-time nature of many of the new jobs being created.

English version by Susana Urra.

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