Spain posts 1st annual increase in number of people employed since before crisis

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The number of people registered as employed in Spain has risen by 417,574 in 2014 compared with the previous year, the first annual increase since 2007 and the latest sign that the country's is recovering from its economic crisis.

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The Labor Ministry said Monday that the number of people employed at the end of 2014 was 16.8 million.

The ministry said the number of people registered as jobless last year dipped by 253,627, for a total of 4.45 million. It was the second consecutive yearly drop.

Quarterly unemployment surveys — seen as more accurate by economists — showed Spain's unemployment rate was 24 percent in the third quarter, with 5.4 million people jobless.

Spain is recovering from two recessions, the last of which ended in late 2013.