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Spain falls slightly behind Greece in the race for Europe’s ugliest job market

Spainish unemployment remained above an astounding 26% during the second quarter.

Spanish unemployment remained above 26% during the second quarter.

Funny what passes for good news in Europe these days.

For instance, the ranks of the unemployed in Spain—the euro zone’s fourth largest economy—declined by more than 225,000 during the second quarter. That’s the largest quarterly decline (paywall) in unemployment since the crisis hit five years ago. Total unemployment fell below what El Pais calls “the sickening figure of six million.”

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That’s a good thing. Even if, as El Pais notes, a large chunk of the new jobs are temporary or part-time gigs.

But let’s not forget where Spain is right now. Even with the second-quarter uptick in jobs, Spain’s unemployment rate is an astounding 26.3%. Which is why, using harmonized unemployment rate data produced by Eurostat, Spain is running neck-and-neck with Greece in the race for Europe’s most atrocious economy.

Today’s numbers from Spain might mean it is falling slightly behind in that ugly contest. But unfortunately for its citizens, Spain is still very much a contender for the title.

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