The number of jobless people in Spain ticked lower for the second month in a row in April, government data showed on Wednesday as a gradual easing of pandemic measures started injecting a bit of dynamism into the struggling economy.
Data from the Labour Ministry showed the number of people registering as jobless slipped by 0.99% in April from a month earlier, leaving some 3.91 million people out of work.
"The data shows a positive trend in a context still marked by high uncertainty," the ministry said.
Unemployment had risen steadily from September to February as authorities slapped restrictions on movement and socialising to curb a third wave of coronavirus infections.
But case numbers have ebbed since Spain's vaccination campaign gathered pace, allowing the removal of the toughest measures and relieving some pressure on the labour market.
The number of people supported by Spain's ERTE government furlough programme fell by 36,621 from March to 638,238 people, down more than 75% from last April's peak of 3.6 million.
Still, underscoring that a full recovery remains a distant prospect, social-security data showed Spain lost nearly 10,000 jobs in the past month on a seasonally adjusted basis, as job creation in the industry and construction sectors was offset by a decline in services.
Last week, Spain posted a slight contraction in first-quarter economic output and recently cut its growth forecast for 2021 to 6.5%, although the Bank of Spain expects a rebound in the second quarter.