Unemployment in Spain Reached 14.4%
Spain's unemployment rate rose to 14.4% in the first quarter of 2020, the National Statistical Institute INE reported today, Reuters reported.
In the previous quarter, unemployment was 13.8 percent - the lowest since the third quarter of 2008, but still the highest for the euro area countries after Greece.
Spain, one of the most affected by the coronavirus countries, imposed strict national anti-epidemiological measures on March 14.
The number of unemployed increased by 121,000 to 3.31 million at the end of March, data show.
The current numbers may be higher.
Unemployment figures do not include the 3.9 million workers the government says have been suspended.
The left-wing Spanish government has facilitated temporary layoffs, with companies with financial difficulties able to freeze employment contracts while prohibiting permanent layoffs during a pandemic in order to cushion the blow to the economy by the coronavirus.
The IMF forecasts that unemployment in the country will reach 20.8% this year, while the central bank estimates that the increase will be in the range of 18.3-21.7% depending on the duration of restrictive measures.
Unemployment in Spain began to rise in 2008, and then started to fall gradually after a peak of 27.2% in early 2013.
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