On Friday the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the country’s jobless rate had reached a 13-year high of 20.33% at year-end 2010. This rate is the highest rate of unemployment for any industrialized nation.
There are currently 4.7 million people unemployed in the country and another 121,900 were added in the last quarter of 2010. The unemployment rate in Spain was 18.83% in 2009, and now 20.33% with the future not looking much better. Economic experts are pegging 2011 rate at 19.3% with a modest decrease for 2012 to 17.5%.
Spain’s economy is the fifth largest in Europe and was thrown into a recession in 2008 especially in its labor-intensive construction sector. The country amidst much protest just eliminated long-term unemployment benefits of $568/month due to the country’s budget deficit and as part of its long-term austerity measures.