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Spanish unemployment edged higher in January after 10 months of decline

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MADRID (Reuters) -Spanish joblessness edged higher in January to break a 10-month streak of consecutive declines, led by increases in the agriculture and service industries, Labour Ministry data showed on Tuesday.

The number of people registering as jobless rose 0.55% in January from December, or by 17,173 people, to leave some 3.12 million out of work, the data showed.

Still, the increase was the slowest reported in 25 years for the month of January, when unemployment usually rises sharply as many temporary agricultural, hospitality and retail contracts end.

Joblessness rose 1.8% in agriculture and 1.5% in services but declined 2.8% in the construction industry, the data showed.

On an annual basis, the number of people registering as jobless fell 21% from the previous January, when Spain had yet to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccination programme and had imposed restrictions on travel and socialising to rein in cases.

Despite the uptick in unemployment, Spain added 71,948 net jobs over the month, with the bulk in services, separate data from the Social Security Ministry showed.

The number of people supported by a state-backed furlough scheme edged 2.4% higher to 105,043.

Data released last week showed overall unemployment reached its lowest level since before the 2008 financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Spanish unemployment edged higher in January after 10 months of decline

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