The number of]people in Spain out of work increased by nearly 200,000 in January – the biggest monthly rise on record. This was the tenth straight monthly increase following the the collapse in the housing market and the global financial crisis.
In previous months it has been the construction industry that has lost most jobs, but the latest figures show that the effects of the collapse of a decade-long housing and property boom are spreading.
Since January last year, the number of people registered as unemployed in Spain has risen by just over one million. The total is now 3.33 million, around 14 percent of the population, the highest rate of unemployment in the European Union. The small businesses, which provided employment for around 80 percent of the workforce in Spain, have simply run out of credit and customers.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero – who this week again urged banks to increase lending – said: “We’re going to get through this economic crisis and the government is going make major investments to preserve jobs from March and April.”