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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Spain's jobless rate edges down to 24.5 per cent in second quarter as economy gains traction

MADRID - Official figures show that Spain's unemployment rate edged down to 24.5 per cent in the second quarter from 25.9 per cent in the previous three-month period, a further sign that the economy's recovery is gaining traction and making solid inroads into the labour market.

Spain's National Statistics Institute said Thursday that the number of people out of work fell by 310, 400 in the quarter, leaving the total number of unemployed at a rounded 5.6 million. That's down from 5.9 million in the first quarter.

Spain is battling to recover from two recessions, the last of which ended last year. The economy has expanded in each of the past four quarters.

The Bank of Spain estimates the economy expanded by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter, the fastest in six years.

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