The number of officially registered job seekers in eurozone member Spain dropped by 127,248 people in June, the Labor Ministry reported Tuesday.
Spain has been suffering from record-high unemployment as it still struggles with the aftermath of a real-estate sector crash in 2008. But Tuesday´s figures marked the fourth consecutive monthly fall and the steepest in a single month since comparable statistics began in 1997.
The news brought some cheer for a country still stuck in recession and now posting an unemployment rate of over 27 percent, according to the national statistics body, INE, which uses a wider calculation method than the government.
Worthy of mention is that recorded unemployment among the under-25s fell by 33,961 (-7.41%) on the previous month. Recorded unemployment among the under-25s in the last 12 months has fallen by 28,940, which is a 6.39% fall year-on-year. Unemployment also fell by 93,287 (-2.1%) among the over-25s.
Analysts attributed the June fall largely to an increase in tourism, one of the sectors to have best weathered the economic crisis.
However, since June 25 bond investors have shown increased willingness to lend to the Spanish government. The yield on the nation´s 10-year bonds, which moves in the opposite direction of the price, has fallen from a recent high of nearly 5 percent to nearly 4.6 percent this week.
This recent positive follows a prediction by the Spanish government that the country´s unemployment rate should drop to 25 percent by 2015.
The conservative government in Madrid claimed its austerity measures and labor reforms of the past two years were finally starting to work, adding that Spain would emerge from recession in the coming months.
The State Secretary for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, acknowledged that there is still "a lot of work to be done in order to offer opportunities for the future to all those people who are currently experiencing tough times. We are firmly committed to laying the groundwork for Spain to return to the path of economic growth and stable and quality job creation. This is the main goal for the reformist agenda of the Government of Spain", she said.