By Xavier Fontdegloria 

The Spanish unemployment rate continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2021, returning to pre-pandemic levels for the first time as the country's economy continued to recover.

Spain's unemployment rate declined to 13.33% in the fourth quarter from 14.57% in the previous three-month period, Spanish statistics office INE said Thursday. The rate is below the 13.78% pre-pandemic level registered at the end of 2019, and the lowest since September 2008.

The number of unemployed people fell by 312,900 in the last three months of 2021 to a total of 3.1 million, while employment edged up by 153,900 people to 20.18 million, INE said.

Spain's unemployment rate has been declining steadily since the last quarter of 2020. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the country activated a short-term program to pay part of the wages of workers put on furlough by their employers, cushioning the hit to employment from the economic fallout.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2022 03:15 ET (08:15 GMT)

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