This is definitely not the kind of news that anyone wants to hear now. If the US was counting unemployment in the same way as Spain, the US number would likely be somewhere closer to the mid teens, but still much lower than the nearly 22% unemployment rate in Spain. This is a painfully deep hole that they're in and without the fake economics of the last decade that dominated in so many countries, it will be a very long time before Spain digs itself out of this problem. Even worse, Spain now has a lost generation with its youth who have tough odds for finding employment.
The “bad and negative” unemployment figures place the future of the welfare state in question, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said. More than 4.42 million Spaniards were out of work at the end of 2011, an increase of 7.86 percent over December 2010 and the highest total since 1996. The statistics confirm “the deterioration of the economic situation in the second half of the year,” the secretary of state for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, said. Spain’s unemployment rate, nearly 22 percent, is the highest in the developed world and more than 45 percent of Spanish youth are without jobs.