Spanish joblessness the highest since Franco left power
Economic stagnation beginning in 2008 has left many young Spaniards without work
Remember the old "Saturday Night Live" joke on the weekend update segment that began Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead?" That joke has taken on new resonance for the people of Spain - after the departure of their fascist dictator, their nation fell on hard times in its transition to a democracy. Today, Spanish unemployment is at its highest since 1976, right after Franco left power. The joke has bitter meaning of Spaniards under the age of 26, where unemployment is the highest.
Young people in Spain have taken the heaviest hit. According to figures from EU statistics agency Eurostat, half of the country's people under 26 and available for work are unemployed.
The National Statistics Institute says that the jobless rate rose to 24.6 percent from 24.4 percent in the first quarter, with the number of unemployed Spaniards rose to 5.7 million.
"It's another example of in, and with the economy unlikely to expand anytime soon, and the dire position the economy is probably more likely to fall deeper into recession, things are only going to get worse," economist at Capital Economics Ben May says.
Spain's economy has been in a tailspin ever since the beginning of 2008, after the labor-heavy property sector stalled as a glut of cheap credit dried up.
Beginning in the first quarter, the recession is expected to last until 2013 while the government said last week it does not expect unemployment to fall much below 22 percent until 2015 at least.
Consumer and business confidence has been badly dented over concerns that Spain may need a full sovereign bailout as nervous markets push the country's risk premiums to euro-era highs.
Young people in Spain have taken the heaviest hit. According to figures from EU statistics agency Eurostat, half of the country's people under 26 and available for work are unemployed. Nearly one quarter of the labor force unable to find work and young people fearing the worst.
Among those aged 16 to 24, the rate rose to a huge 53.27 percent from 52.01 percent the previous quarter, reflecting the ongoing impact of Spain's double-dip recession.
Between the months of April and June, 53,500 people lost their jobs, compared with 365,900 in the first quarter, the national statistics office said.
The Bank of Spain will publish its provisional estimate of economic output in the second quarter next week. The report is expected to show a contraction of 0.4 percent, compared with a 0.3 percent decrease in the first three months.
Under pressure from European authorities, Spain's conservative government has approved tens of billions of euros' worth of spending cuts, tax hikes and other measures.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Spain, recession, joblessness, youth, Dictator Franco
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