Spain's Jobs Market Improves as Reforms Help Offset Strike, Inflation

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Spain's labour market withstood soaring inflation and a crippling truckers' strike in March to see a drop in unemployment, data showed on Monday, helped in part by reforms aimed at cutting the use of temporary contracts, Reuters reported. The number of people registering as jobless in Spain slipped 0.09% in March from February, or by 2,921 people, leaving 3.11 million people out of work, Labour Ministry data showed. Spain added 23,998 net jobs during the month, a 0.12% rise from February. The number of people enrolled in social security programmes in seasonally adjusted terms hit 19.96 million, the highest in the historical series, after eleven months of consecutive growth, the Social Security Ministry said in a separate report. Spain has long had high unemployment, largely due to the ease with which employers can fire staff in a market in which almost a quarter of jobs are held under temporary contracts. February's 12.6% unemployment rate was still the European Union's highest, according to Eurostat. Read more.