Spanish unemployment rose by 29,400 people in the first quarter of the year, which is 0.8 percent higher than in the previous quarter, bringing the total number of unemployed to 3,796,100 people, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) published on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
The Spanish unemployment rate now stands at 16.74 percent.
The rise in unemployment registered in the first quarter is the highest for this period since 2013, when unemployment rose by more than 257,200 people.
In the first quarters of 2016 and 2017 there were increases in unemployment of 11,900 and 17,200 people, respectively, while in 2014 and 2015 there were decreases of 2,300 and 13,100 unemployed..
The decline in employment in the first three months of the year was concentrated in the private sector, which lost 155,200 jobs, while the public sector generated 31,000 jobs, one percent more than the previous quarter.
The greatest decreases in unemployment this quarter occurred in Catalonia (with 20,600 fewer unemployed), the Canary Islands (18,000 fewer) and the Community of Madrid (10,300 fewer).
The greatest increases were registered in the Balearic Islands (28,000 more), Andalusia (15,100) and Murcia Region (9,100).
The number of unemployed people under 25 fell by 42,900 people in the first quarter, 7.6 percent compared to the previous quarter, with the total number of young people in unemployment at 515,200 at the end of March.
The youth unemployment rate stood at 36.3 percent at the end of the first quarter, 1.1 percent lower than the previous quarter and just over five percentage points below that of a year ago.