Angeline Benoit and Harumi Ichikura
January 20, 2014

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy can count the social cost of the economy’s slump when data this week show how 2013 was probably the worst year for work in its democratic history.

Economists predict the unemployment rate in Spain, home to almost a third of the euro region’s jobless, stayed above 25 percent for the sixth quarter in a row. The National Statistics Institute in Madrid will release the report for the final three months of the year on Jan. 23.

Included in the total is Jose Nieto Lopez, for whom a job remains as elusive as ever even after the economy limped out of its most recent recession in the third quarter. The 49-year-old former security guard, who says he’s up for any position going, is competing with an army of workless adults for whom paid employment is becoming a distant memory.

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