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Unemployment benefit spending continues to fall

Number of people not covered by safety net rises to 1.68 million

Spending on unemployment benefits in Spain in the first month of the year (the latest available figure) fell 14 percent from the same month a year earlier to 2.382 billion euros, as the number of people whose entitlements have run out increased to a record 1.68 million.

The conservative Popular Party government of Mariano Rajoy also cut the amount of unemployment benefit people receive by 50 percent from the sixth month. Workers are entitled to four months of unemployment benefits for every year worked up to a maximum of two years.

According to figures released Tuesday by the Labor Ministry, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits in January fell by 8.4 percent from a year earlier to 2.805 million, 61.4 percent of registered unemployed. The average monthly payment in the first month of the year was 869 euros, down 6.4 percent on a year earlier.

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