Spain's registered unemployed figure drops ahead of election, welcome news for ruling party

MADRID – Official figures show the number of Spanish people registered as unemployed fell by 27,071 in November, the biggest drop on record for that month and welcome news for the conservative government ahead of Dec. 20 general elections.

The Labor Ministry said Wednesday the total number of people registered as jobless was 4.15 million.

Quarterly unemployment surveys — considered more accurate by economists — put Spain’s unemployment rate at 21.2 per cent in the third quarter, with 5 million people out of work. The rate is the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

Unemployment began to rocket in Spain in 2008 with the global financial crisis.

The ruling Popular Party is hoping the country’s gradual economic recovery over the past two years will boost its fortunes in this month’s election.