Spain sees record rise in unemployment amid lockdown

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Madrid: New data has revealed that almost 900,000 people in Spain have lost their jobs since the country imposed strict measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, another sign of the economic impact of the outbreak in Europe’s second worst-hit country.

The data shows 898,822 people have now lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown, including about 550,000 temporary workers, the BBC reported citing the data as saying.

Spain’s official unemployment figure rose to 3.5 million, the highest level since April 2017.

March’s figure was the highest monthly rise in unemployment ever recorded in the country, which already had one of the eurozone’s highest jobless rates.

The country has also banned all but essential outings and shut most businesses in mid-March.

“This is an absolutely unprecedented situation,” the BBC quoted Labour Minister Yolanda Daz as saying at a news conference.

The tourism and construction sectors were the hardest hit.

Meanwhile, 10,003 people in Spain have died from the coronavirus as 950 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, another daily record, the Health Ministry said.

The number of confirmed cases rose to 104,118, while the death toll stood at 9,387.

Italy currently accounts for the maximum number of coronavirus deaths globally at 13,155, while the infections were 110,574.

Italy was the first in the West to impose stringent measures to curb the virus, and the government has warned it could be hit by a “severe” recession.

Meanwhile, the US accounts for the highest number of cases in the world at 216,722, while 5,157 deaths were recorded.

(Agencies)