Spain’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 25%, a level not seen since its dictator days, and coming austerity cutbacks are expected to drive the rate even higher in the year to come.
Reuters reported Friday that according to the National Statistics Institute, unemployment reached 25% in the third quarter, up from 24.6% in Q2. The employment situation in the country hasn’t been that bad since at least 1976, when Gen. Francisco Franco died and the Spanish dictatorship came to an end. Still, as bad as it is, with 5.8 million workers idled, the 25% figure is a shade less than predicted by economists, who had pegged it at 25.1%.
However, that is no consolation to the unemployed. Labor unions in Spain have called for a general strike on Nov. 14, believing that austerity measures enforced so far have done nothing to better Spain’s plight but only harmed its people.
Economists believe that additional cutbacks still to be implemented will worsen the situation, since they will further hamper growth and likely throw even more people out of work.