Spain's unemployed inching up to 5 million

Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain is edging toward 5 million as the country's recession shows few signs of abating and its banks struggle to deal with a property market crash.

Spain's Labor Ministry says Tuesday that unemployment rose a monthly 74,296 in November, or by 1.5 percent, to a record high of 4.9 million.

Spain's unemployment rate is released separately and quarterly. It stood at 25 percent at the end of the third quarter.

The figures come a day after finance ministers from Spain's euro partners approved the release of €39.5 billion ($51.6 billion) in bailout aid for Spanish banks worst hit by the property market collapse in 2008.

The funds are part of a €100 billion rescue package that's been earmarked for Spain's banks.

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