The Spanish government has said unemployment in the crisis-stricken southern European nation has gone down markedly over the past four weeks. The main reason was a strong tourist season.
The number of officially registered job seekers in eurozone member Spain dropped by 127,248 people in June, the Labor Ministry reported Tuesday.
The marked fall brought the jobless rate down by 2.6 percent to 4.76 million people looking for work across the country.
Spain has been suffering from record-high unemployment as it still struggles with the aftermath of a real-estate sector crash in 2008. But Tuesday's figures marked the fourth consecutive monthly fall and the steepest in a single month since comparable statistics began in 1997.
Out of the woods?
The news brought some cheer for a country still stuck in recession and now posting an unemployment rate of over 27 percent, according to the national statistics body, INE, which uses a wider calculation method than the government.
Analysts attributed the June fall largely to an increase in tourism, one of the sectors to have best weathered the economic crisis.
The conservative government in Madrid claimed its austerity measures and labor reforms of the past two years were finally starting to work, adding that Spain would emerge from recession in the coming months.
hg/dr (dpa, AP)