The unemployment rate in Spain has shot up to 26.02 per cent, with nearly six million people out of work.
The National Statistics Institute said on Thursday the rate rose by one per cent in the last quarter of 2012 from the third quarter.
It said 691,700 more people lost their jobs in 2012.
The unemployment level is the highest in the country’s modern history.
Spain is in the throes of its second recession in just over three years following the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008.
Battling to reduce a swollen deficit and avoid a bailout, the year-old conservative government has brought major financial and labour reforms and applied severe cutbacks in wages and spending but so far the economy has shown few signs of recovery.
by Sasha Dubronitz