The unemployment rate in Spain has hit 24.4 per cent, and the youth unemployment rate remains well over fifty per cent. In 10 per cent of Spanish households, every occupant is unemployed – not just without a job, but actively seeking work.
The figures were released by INS, the Spanish statistics agency, in a week which was already bad for Spain. First the IMF warned Spanish banks that they posed a threat to the country's financial stability; then the ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Spain's sovereign debt from A to BBB+:
In other words, S&P expect Spain to remain in recession throughout 2012 and 2013, and also think that the governing People's Party won't be able to enact their proposed austerity program.
The news is bad for the Spainish government, which has seen its bond yield rise to 6 per cent since the the downgrade was announced. If the nation really does return to recession and fail to cut spending as a result, that will be much more expensive as a result of this increased cost of borrowing.