26 Apr 2013

Jobless numbers in Spain hit record

12:21 pm on 26 April 2013

The number of people without work in Spain has passed six million for the first time, taking the official unemployment rate to more than 27%.

Although the rise was predicted, it is being seen as yet more confirmation that Spain's austerity-hit economy is struggling to emerge from an economic crisis that began five years ago, the BBC reports.

Many now predict the government will ease up on austerity measures, because of a growing belief more spending cuts and taxes could make the recession worse.

On Friday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will unveil fiscal and policy measures aimed at halting recession in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, the BBC reports.

The unemployment figure is the highest since at least 1976, the year after dictator Francisco Franco's death began Spain's transition to democracy.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2013 forecast for Spain's growth to a 1.6% contraction from 1.5% and said the unemployment rate would peak at 27% this year.