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Spain has held the highest unemployment rate in the developed world since 2008. Now, the latest report from the OECD shows that its unemployment rate is also growing faster than the euro area average.Spain’s 22.9% unemployment rate in November 2011, grew 2.5 percentage points (pp) from a year ago. This compares with a 0.3 pp increase in unemployment in the euro area, and a 0.3 pp decline in unemployment across OECD-member countries.
The global financial crisis hit Spain hard by crushing its construction industry, which alone saw 2 million jobs eliminated. Spending cuts that were a part of Spain’s austerity helped drive unemployment higher, and now the countr is struggling with an emigration crisis.
The indignados “indignant”, credited with inspiring the Occupy Wall Street movement, protested Spain’s unemployment problem, and prime minister Rajoy’s government is working toward labour reforms by the middle of next month. But Spain’s unemployment situation looks grimmer than some of Europe’s sickest countries.
- Portugal posted an unemployment rate of 13.2% in November 2011, a 0.9 pp increase over the previous year.
- Ireland reported a 14.6% unemployment rate in November 2011, a 0.3 pp increase from the previous year.
- Italy had the lowest unemployment rate among the PIIGS, at 8.6 pp in November 2011, up 0.5% from the previous year.
- There was no unemployment data for Greece in November. But unemployment was at 18.8% in September 2011, and up 5.5 pp from a year ago. When data is released in the future, it is likely to show that Greece is the only country in which unemployment grew at a faster pace than that of Spain.