The first quarter of the year is traditionally a tougher one for jobs, as people hired over the Christmas period get laid off.
Quarter-on-quarter, employment declined by 64,600 persons to 18.03 million persons, as private employment decreased by 82,100 while public sector added 17,600 jobs. Among sectors, jobs in services (-53,400 persons), construction (-26,900) and agriculture (-2,300) fell while employment in industry rose (+18,000). By region, the largest decreases in the quarter were reported in Madrid (-28,700 persons), Valencia (-12,800) and Galicia (-11,400).
Unemployment increased by 11,900 persons to 4.79 million persons in the three months to March 2016. Unemployment increased in the services (+68,900 persons), agriculture (+36,600) and industry (+10,800) sectors while it was is virtually unchanged in construction.The largest increases occurred in Valencia (+8,600 persons), Castilla y Leon and the Balearic Islands (+8,000 each).
The number of active population went down by 52,700 persons to 22.821 million persons and the labor force participation rate decreased to 59.29 percent.
A year earlier, the unemployment rate was recorded at 23.78 percent.
Spain has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU, after Greece.