Jobless claims rise for fourth straight month to reach record levels

Ranks of unemployed swelled by non-professional carers

Jobless claims in Spain rose for the fourth month in a row in November as they approached the five million mark as the recession continued to depress the labor market.

According to figures released Tuesday by the Labor Ministry, the number of people signed up with employment offices as out of work climbed 74,296 to a record 4.907 million. In November of last year, jobless claims rose by 59,536. Compared with the same month a year earlier, jobless claims were up by 11.02 percent, or 487,355.

Beyond the number of workers who are registered as unemployed, the National Statistics Institute's quarterly Active Population Survey (EPA) for the third quarter of this year showed the number of people out of work at 5.778 million or 25 percent of the population.

The ministry said that Tuesday’s new figures reflect the removal of the obligation for non-professional caregivers to be affiliated to the Social Security system as part of the government’s austerity drive. It said these accounted for 37,983 of the jobless claims registered last month. Factoring this out, it said the number of people registered as out of work rose by only 36,313 to 4.869 million.

“This is without doubt a bad figure, but we’re working to turn the situation around,” Labor Minister Fátima Báñez said. “The face of the crisis in Spain is unemployment.”

Jobless claim rose across the economy with the exception of the construction sector. The services sector accounted for 85 percent of the increase.

The number of people signed up with the Social Security system in November declined 205,678 to 16.531 million, the lowest level since March 2003. Non-professional carers accounted for 85,233 of the people exiting the system. Compared with November 2011, the decline in affiliation was 717,482, or 4.16 percent.


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