Unemployment in Spain was 4 per cent up in January on the previous month. The number of people out of work has now reached nearly 4.6 million according to the figures from the ministry of employment and social security. The January figures mark the sixth consecutive increase since August 2011.

Most of the 177,470 newly unemployed in January were over 25 and in the service sectors. Layoffs were the main reason for the rise in unemployment rather than new people looking for work.

The figure of 4,599,829 people out of work is the highest in Spain for 16 years.