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Spain's jobless rate rises slightly: INE

By MarketWatch
By  David Roman
The number of unemployed people in Spain dropped by over 300,000 to just under 6 million in the first quarter from the same period a year ago, evidence that an economic bounce in the country is helping to ease one of the worst jobs crisis in the developed world                                        
However, Spain's unemployment rate rose slightly to 25.9% in the first quarter-traditionally a bad one for job creation-from a revised 25.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, the national statistics bureau said Tuesday                                        
The increase largely responds to a change in the basis for calculation, as the bureau just started to use a Spanish census conducted in 2011 instead of the 2001 census
Under the earlier population estimate, the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter was at 26% of the workforce                                        
Spain is now emerging from a six-year slump. Last week, the country's central bank said the euro zone's fourth-largest economy picked up steam during the first quarter, helped by rising consumer spending and corporate investment                                        
The Bank of Spain said in its April economic bulletin it estimates that the economy grew at a quarterly rate of 0.4% in the first three months of the year, compared with 0.2% growth in the fourth quarter. In annual terms, the economy grew 0.5%, rising for the first time in nine quarters, the Bank of Spain said                                        
The central bank said the growth estimate--the first official forecast for the quarter--was in line with its forecast for the next two years for annual growth rates of 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively                                        
In previous years, such growth rates haven't been enough to lead to job creation in Spain, but the country's government believes that a series of labor market reforms will allow Spain to create jobs even with only modest economic growth.

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