People wait in line at a government employment office in Madrid
Madrid - AFP
Spanish unemployment fell in November, reversing a three-month upward trend, the labour ministry said on Wednesday, providing a welcome boost for the government less than three weeks ahead of a general election.
Some 27,000 fewer people were registered as jobless than in October, taking the total number of unemployed to 4.15 million
The ministry said the number of unemployed had come down by 362,818 over the last 12 months, and highlighted a 15.8 percent increase in full-time long-term work contracts in November from the same month a year earlier.
But at 21.1 percent Spain's unemployment rate, which is calculated from a separate survey, is still the EU's highest in the European Union bar Greece.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has centred his re-election campaign on employment, promising two million more jobs over the next five years.
Spain goes to the polls on December 20.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told the El Economista paper that incomes would return to their pre-financial crisis level by the end of 2016 but "employment will take three years longer".
Unemployment spiralled upwards in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis popping the nation's real estate bubble, with the number of jobless reaching six million in March 2013.