Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Thursday welcomed figures showing that jobless queues, which have whipped up a nationwide protest movement, shrank in May.
The number of job seekers declined 1.87 percent from the previous month to 4.19 million in May, the Labour Ministry figures showed.
The figure was up 3.04 percent from a year earlier, however.
"The figure is undoubtedly positive," Zapatero said in an interview with Spanish public radio.
"We are entering into better months for employment," the prime minister added. "We hope this trend will consolidate and intensify in the last months of the year and the start of 2012."
The ranks of the unemployed had peaked in March at 4.33 million people, the highest number since the figures were first collated in their current format in 1996.
Spain's unemployment rate hit 21.29 percent in the first quarter of 2011, the highest in the industrialized world, the National Statistics Institute said earlier.
Protesters angered by unemployment, political corruption and welfare cuts have occupied city centre squares across Spain in a movement that erupted May 15.
Known as "the indignant", "M-15" and "Spanish Revolution", the rallies peaked with tens of thousands protesting on the eve of Spain's May 22 local elections, in which the ruling Socialists were hammered by the conservative Popular Party