MADRID–Spain said Tuesday its jobless numbers tumbled by nearly 100,000 people in June, traditionally a bumper month for employment as the tourism season kicks in. The number of people registered as unemployed fell by 98,853, or 2.1 percent, to 4.62 million in June from the previous month, the Labour Ministry said in a statement. It was the steepest fall in unemployment numbers for the month of June since the series began in 1996, it said. “June is traditionally good for the unemployment queue but we have never reached a decline of nearly 100,000 people,” said Spain’s state secretary for labour, Engracia Hidalgo. “We will have to follow the development of the unemployment figures after this good data for June to verify whether we are turning towards a positive trend,” she said in the statement. The ministry’s monthly tally is based on the number of people registering as unemployed.
A broader, quarterly household survey by the National Statistics Institute provides the official unemployment rate, which hit 24.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government has forecast an end-2012 unemployment of 24.3 percent in the recession-bound economy, but expects it to edge slightly lower in 2013.