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Last Friday the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said the national unemployment rate in the first quarter rose to 24.4% from 22.9% in the previous quarter, the highest in 18 years. While this certainly comes as bad news, the association of temporary employment agencies in the country, AGETT, now said that the results are “slightly better than expected.”
AGETT had originally predicted the joblessness rate to reach around 24.6% in the first quarter. It warned that the current austerity measures are not enough to cut down on unemployment, and called on optimising all available resources to end the steady increase in job losses.
Spain is the fourth-largest economy in the Euro area and AGETT recently stated that it is particularly families that feel the hardship of the economic crisis. The association described the situation as “dramatic” and said the labour market was diminishing.
It has only been small groups that have been able to stay on jobs, such as women aged over 45, the statistics show. Analysts predict the unemployment rate to worsen as Spain is poised to enter into recession again.
AGETT only recently reported that labour costs in the country had gone up since the Eurocrisis. In 2011 alone, labour costs increased by +2.2%, which is largely attributed to a rise in redundancy payments.