Spanish jobless total falls – by just 31

August unemployment figure drops for first time in 13 years but remains close to 4.7 million, or a quarter of the workforce

Spain’s unemployment total fell by just 31 people last month, but it was the first time the August rate has dropped in 13 years, good news for a government striving to pull the country out of recession.

Latest government figures showed the number of people registered as unemployed remained close to 4.7 million and the quarterly rate is still 26.3%, but the number of registered jobless has been dropping for six months, and the August rate usually rises as summer contracts end.

The economy minister, Luis de Guindos, said the numbers gave hope to Spain, which has been in recession for most of the past four years.

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