UK Markets closed

Spain: Unemployment For Under 25s Over 55%

(c) Sky News 2013

Unemployment in Spain for people under the age of 25 has reached almost 60%, according to officially released figures.

The National Statistics Institute said the jobless rate for the last three months of 2012, for those aged 16 to 24, has soared to 55.13%.

The unemployment figure for young people was up from 52.34% in the previous quarter.

Overall, Spain's unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since measurements began in the 1970s, as a prolonged recession and deep spending cuts have left almost six million people out of work at the end of last year.

The nationwide jobless total rose 1% to 26.02% in the fourth quarter of 2012, or 5.97 million people, according to the National Statistics Institute.

That is up from 25% in the previous quarter, and more than double the European Union average.

More than 2,000 Spaniards a day joined the dole queue in the last three months of 2012.

The results mean in Q4 there were 8.33 million Spanish households in which every potential worker was unemployed.

"It is a very, very high figure," Soledad Pellon, market strategist at IG Markets in Madrid, said.

"The expectation is that this figure will carry on growing during 2013. This year will still not be a year in which we will see job creation."

Spain sank into its second recession since 2009 at the end of 2011, after a burst property bubble left millions of low-skilled labourers out of work and sliding private and business sentiment gutted consumer spending and imports.

Efforts by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government to control one of the eurozone's largest deficits through billions of euros of spending cuts and tax hikes have fuelled anger and dampened demand.

When Mr Rajoy took office in late 2011 there were 5.27 million jobless in Spain.

The economic downturn put an average of 1,900 out of work every day through 2012 and, with the recession expected to last at least until the end of 2013, net job creation is unlikely this year.

In comparison to the Spanish unemployment rate, Britain's jobless level for those aged 16-24 was 20.5% in the period September to November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) in 2012.

That level was unchanged compared to the previous quarter and down 1.7% against a year earlier.

More From Sky News