The number of people in Spain filing claims for unemployment benefits rose to a record 4.23 million last month as the country struggles to overcome recession.
The Labor Ministry said Wednesday the total increased by 130,930 compared with December, up 3.2 percent.
Spain's actual unemployment rate is released quarterly and separately and last week the government said it had surpassed 20 percent after a slight dip in the third quarter of 2010 and now stands at 20.3 percent, a eurozone high.
The actual number of unemployed as of the end of 2010 is nearly 4.7 million. That's different from the claims number because many people's jobless benefits have run out.
Deputy Labor Minister Mari Luz Rodriguez said in a statement that January tends to be a bad month for employment in Spain.
Wednesday's figure was released as the government prepared for the signing of a pact with labor unions and the country's main business federation to undertake new economic reforms to stimulate job creation and present a united front as Spain fights off market fears that its debt, deficit and banking-sector woes could force an outside bailout like Greece and Ireland received.
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