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JOBLESS FIGURES

Number of long-term unemployed quadruples

People without work grew to 5.69 million at the end of June

The ranks of the long-term unemployed have quadrupled since the economic crisis broke in Spain some five years ago, according to a study by the association of temporary employment agencies AGETT, released Thursday.

The report, which takes information from the National Statistics Institute’s Active Population Survey for the second quarter, states that the number of people who have been looking for a job for over a year or more totaled 2.974 million in the period April-June, more than half the total number of unemployed.

The AGETT also noted a big jump in the number of jobless who are over 55 years old. The unemployment of this sector of the labor market climbed from 5.5 percent in the third quarter of 2007 to 16.8 percent in the second quarter of this year. In absolute terms there were 495,700 unemployed in this category, up from 131,700 in the third quarter of 2007.

Spain’s jobless rate at the end of June stood at 24.6 percent, the highest in the European Union and more than double the average in the EU. The rate for workers under 25 years old was over 50 percent. The number of people out of work stood at 5.693 million.

The AGETT report said that increasing numbers of workers aged over 55, the majority of them women, have entered the labor market during the crisis, many for the first time, presumably to cover the loss of income of other members of the household.

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