June 4 - The number of registered jobless people in Spain has dropped in May, seized on by the government as an encouraging sign that a prolonged recession could be nearing its end. Sonia Legg reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE* 1.97% is today's daily digit in Europe - the fall in the number of registered jobless in Spain. But 4.89m people remain out of work in the country and the Labour Ministry's figures aren't seasonally adjusted. If they had taken summer holiday hires by hotels, restaurants and agriculture into account the fall would only be 265. Those queueing for their unemployment benefit in Madrid have not seen any improvement. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARY PAZ, 45 YEAR-OLD JOBLESS, SAYING: "I can't even remember when I was last able to pay my mortgage. I will have to go back to live with my family because I'm going to be kicked out." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OSCAR RUBERO, JOBLESS AIRPORT MAINTENANCE WORKER, SAYING: "I'm here for my benefit. I have two kids and it's all I get. I have to give my ex wife 400 euro - when you only get 426 euro it's almost impossible." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TAMARA, 27 YEAR-OLD JOBLESS SINGLE MOTHER, SAYING "I have been unemployed for a year. I did an industrial business course but there is no work so I've signed up for another course. I am hoping there will be work in the future but things are really bad." Unemployment is a crisis for the euro zone as a whole. But Spain is suffering more than most - only Greece has a worse jobs problem. The government seized on the fall as an encouraging sign. But even if Spain does emerge from recession next year as expected - these latest figures suggest job creation will take much longer