Unemployment rate in Spain lowest in seven years.

Spanish unemployment figures have experienced their biggest annual fall but unemployment remains at over 20%.

The National Statistics Institute said the number of unemployed Spaniards fell by 12.4% to 4.78 million last year, thanks to a strengthening economy.

In the fourth quarter the rate dropped to 20.9% of the workforce, compared with 21.2% three months earlier.

The figures, which are better than predicted, are at their lowest level since mid-2011.

The economic recovery pushed the number of unemployed people down by 678,200 for the whole year.

But there is concern that much of the growth depends on short-term jobs

The data showed almost twice as many temporary posts were created in 2015 than permanent ones.

Spain hosted a record number of foreign visitors last year as holidaymakers stayed away from resorts in other destinations over terrorism fears.

Economists fear that the inconclusive election, which has yet to result in a government, could delay much needed reform of the labour market.

Spain has suffered a double-dip recession that pushed unemployment to just under 27% at the end of 2013.

Retail sales grew 3.6% in 2015 as a whole, which is the biggest rise in 15 years.

A fall in the active workforce also helped the drop in the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter, reflecting the flow of workers going abroad and inactivity among the long-term unemployed.

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