Spain unemployment nears 5 million

Spanish unemploymentThe number of people registered as unemployed in Spain is edging toward five million as the country's recession shows few signs of abating and its banks struggle to deal with a property market crash.

Spain's Labour Ministry said unemployment rose by 74,296 in November, or 1.5%, to a record high of 4.9 million.
Spain's unemployment rate is released separately and quarterly. It stood at 25% at the end of the third quarter.

The figures come a day after finance ministers from Spain's eurozone partners approved the release of 39.5 billion euro (£32.1 billion) in bailout aid for Spanish banks worst hit by the property market collapse in 2008.

The funds are part of a 100 billion euro (£81.2 billion) rescue package which has been earmarked for Spain's banks.
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