BLEAKEST JOBLESS FIGURES YET

The same day as the worst unemployment figures for June since records began in 1960 were announced, the employers’ organisation said its estimate of another 800,000 jobless in the next 12 months could double and reach 1.5 million if the government does not take urgent action, the number could be double that and reach 1.5 million. Gerardo Díaz Ferrán, president of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations, CEOE, said he was particularly worried about the second half of this year when the construction of housing already started is completed. He described the measures announced by the Prime Minister to meet the crisis as “insufficient and timid”. Meanwhile, retail sales dropped 5.1% in the last 12 months, putting Spain at the bottom of the sales figures along with Letonia and Estonia. In the rest of the EU, retail sales rose by 0.2% on average. Food, drinks and tobacco registered the biggest drops. The UN’s Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said that the real value of wages in Spain dropped by 0.7% in 2006, the worst decrease in the EU after Portugal.

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