Spain's jobless rate shot to 22.85 percent at the end of 2011, the highest in the industrialised world, as more than half of young people were out of work, official data showed Friday.
The number of unemployed burst through the five-million mark, surging 295,300 to 5.27 million in the last quarter of 2011, the National Statistics Institute report showed.
As a result, the jobless rate at the end of 2011 surged to a near 17-year record, rising from 21.52 percent the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute report showed.
Even more dramatic, the jobless rate among those aged 16-24 climbed to 51.4 percent at the end of the year from 45.8 percent on September 30.
The figures are a grim portent for Spain, widely considered to be sliding in to a recession in 2012 with jobless numbers set to rise even further as the new right-leaning government slashes spending further.