Spain’s unemployment falls below 6 million in Q2

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s National Statistics Institute says the country’s jobless rate dropped by 0.9 percentage points to 26.26 percent in the second quarter of 2013, sorely needed good news for an economy mired in recession for most of the past four years.

The institute said Thursday the number of people out of work dropped by 225,200 April through to June to 5.87 million.

The rate had reached a record 27.16 percent in the first quarter.

The reduction comes amid increasing optimism within the conservative government that its reforms and austerity measures are finally paying off.

The Bank of Spain said recently the economy contracted in the second quarter but by a smaller amount than the previous three months. It predicts the economy could start growing again in the third quarter.

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