Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Spanish benefit claimant total up

People queueing at a job centre in Madrid
Spain's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the EU

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Spain rose by 98,906 in October, according to government figures.

This brings the total number of jobless to 3.8 million, which is almost a million more than a year earlier.

Figures traditionally jump in October as the holiday season winds down, and job losses from the service sector accounted for 63% of the increase.

Spain has one of the highest unemployment levels in Europe.

The government's method of calculating unemployment differs from that used by Eurostat, which last month estimated the number of jobless in the country at 4.12 million.

According to those figures, Spain's September jobless rate was 19.3%, just below the 19.7% rate recorded for Latvia.

The Spanish government has spent 8bn euros ($11.7bn; £7.1bn) on a stimulus package to create 400,000 extra jobs in the construction sector, which is the country's hardest hit industry.

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