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Spain's unemployment jumps to 26.02 pct

MADRID (AP) -- Spain says its unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2012 shot up to 26.02 percent with nearly 6 million people now out of work.

The National Statistics Institute said Thursday the rate rose by one percent from the third quarter.

It said 691,700 more people lost their jobs last year.

Spain is in the throes of its second recession in just over three years following the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008.

Battling to reduce a swollen deficit and avoid a bailout, the year-old conservative government has brought major financial and labor reforms and applied severe cutbacks in wages and spending but so far the economy has shown few signs of recovery.