Spain jobless claims down in May but only slightly in another sign of recession, economic woes

MADRID – The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Spain dropped only slightly in May, a month traditionally good for hiring as companies prepare for the vacation season.

The Labor Ministry reported Monday a drop of 30,113. That makes for a total of 4.71 million receiving joblessness benefits. It was the second straight monthly decline.

But as in April, the drop was small compared to the same month a year ago — 80,000 in May 2011 — in a sign of the recession gripping Spain, the second in three years.

The overall unemployment rate is released separately and quarterly. As of the end of March it stood at 24.4 per cent, and more than 50 per cent for people under 25.

The yield on Spain’s 10-year bonds was unchanged at 6.47 per cent.