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MADRID: Spain’s unemployment rate fell in the second quarter of 2023 to its lowest level since 2008, official data showed Thursday, as the country’ buoyant tourism sector boosted the labour market.

The jobless rate dipped to 11.6 percent in the period from April to June from 13.3 percent in the previous thee-month period, national statistics institute INE said.

The unemployment rate had not been that low in Spain since the third quarter of 2008, when it was 11.2 percent.

UK unemployment climbs as inflation weighs on economy

The number of unemployed people dropped by 365,000 in the second quarter to s total of 2.76 million, with most jobs added in the services sector.

Spain is the world’s second-most visited country after France and unemployment typically falls in the summer months in the country as the tourists season picks up and hotels, bars and restaurants boost staff.

“These are extraordinary figures that demonstrate the strength of our economy,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Twitter, which is being rebranded as “X”.

Spain’s economy has outperformed most of its European Union peers. It grew by 5.5 percent last year and the government expects it will expand by 2.1 percent in 2023.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday raised its growth forecast for Spain this year to 2.5 percent from 1.5 citing the strong performance of the tourism sector.

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