Friday, July 29, 2005

NOT ALL is bad news in the economic front (if I was a real cynic, I'd ask "yet?"):
Spain's jobless rate fell to 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2005, its lowest level in 25 years, as the economy continued to generate jobs at a healthy rate.

According to data published Friday by the National Statistics Institute, or INE, the country's jobless rate fell to 9.3 percent from 10.2 percent in the first quarter - the lowest rate in about 25 years. The number of unemployed for the first quarter, including first-time job seekers, was 1.9 million, the Institute said.

In the last 12 months, the number of unemployed has fallen by 204,000, INE said, as the Spanish economy - one of the fastest growing in the euro zone - continued to create jobs at a healthy rate.

The annual job creation rate jumped by almost one point to 5.0 percent in the second quarter from 4.3 percent in the first three months of this year, INE said.

About 358,900 new jobs were created in services, as the summer holiday season was getting underway. About 68,000 jobs were made in construction and 5,200 were gained in industry, INE said.

Job creation was mainly boosted by an immigrant amnesty that took place earlier this year, when the Spanish government granted about 700,000 new residence permits for undocumented workers.

However, despite the progress made in the Spanish labor market, joblessness remains high by euro-zone standards as the 12-nation jobless rate was running at 8.8 percent in May.

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