MADRID Ė The Spanish government said Friday that it expects an unemployment rate of 19.3 percent in 2011, compared with an earlier forecast of 18.7 percent.
Economy Minister Elena Salgado disclosed the latest projections after a Cabinet meeting to put the final touches to the 2011 budget bill.
The persistence of the recession has caused the rate of job creation to fall short of earlier estimates, she said, though adding that officials still expect employment to grow by 0.3 percent in 2011.
Spainís current jobless rate is around 20 percent.
The deputy prime minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, said Friday she was confident the combination of austerity measures, changes to labor law and a planned overhaul of pensions will spur the Spanish economy.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapateroís administration continues to forecast that Spainís gross domestic product will expand 1.3 percent next year.
In Spain, the effects of the global recession were aggravated by the collapse of a long construction and property boom that made the countryís economy the envy of most of Madridís partners in the European Union. EFE