Spain's unemployment rate edged up slightly to 23.8 percent in the first quarter despite a welcome drop in the number of people out of work.
The increase reported by the National Statistics Institute is a blow for the conservative government as it prepares for municipal and regional elections next month and general elections by the end of the year.
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The rate was 23.7 percent in the previous quarter.
The institute said Thursday there were 13,100 fewer people out of work, making for a rounded total of 5.4 million jobless.
The percentage figure increased because of a drop in the working population.
Unemployment soared in recent years because of the financial crisis but the economy last year resumed steady growth.