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Spanish jobless rate tops 26 percent at end of 2013

MADRID--Spain announced Thursday its unemployment rate topped 26 percent in the final quarter of 2013 as the eurozone's fourth-largest economy emerged only haltingly from a long, job-wrecking recession.

After five years of stop-start recession sparked by a 2008 property crash, Spain began to show economic growth in the third quarter of 2013 but activity has been too meagre to deliver a significant number of new jobs.

Spain's unemployment rate rose to 26.03 percent in the last three months of the year from 25.98 percent in the previous quarter, the National Statistics Institute said.

The deterioration, though minor, spoilt an otherwise brightening picture for the battered economy, which grew by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, signalling the end of a double-dip recession.

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