Spanish Q1 2010 Unemployment Number Accidentally Leaked, Surpasses 20% For First Time Since 1997

A freak leak of the Spanish unemployment number by the National Statistical Institute (INE), the equivalent to the DOL, was captured by Spanish daily, according to which for the first time since 1997, the unemployment rate in the country that was notched by S&P today, will surpass 20%. This number was supposed to be under embargo until Friday. According to the temporary leak which was subsequently promptly removed, the number of unemployed in Spain increased from 4.3 million to 4.6 million between the end of 2009 and March 31, 2010. What's worse is that the unemployment among Spain's youth is reaching epidemic proportions: "the unemployment rate for those under 25 years in the first quarter of 2010 was 40.93% and 18.02% in those over 25 years. In the group of 16-19 years, the rate is 59.79% and 13.1% among the unemployed aged 55 and older." Dealing drugs is probably a more lucrative job than working for the government anyway. No taxes either.

More from ABC, translated by Google:

The Labour Force Survey also reveals that the number of employed at the end of the first quarter of this year was 18,394,200 people, representing a decrease of 251.7 thousand compared to those who had at the end of 2009 (18,645,900).

By sectors, only agriculture is an increase in the number of employed persons (52 600) to a total of 835 200. On the contrary, this group fell by industry (81 100) to 2.5998 million, construction (139 700), to 1.663 million, and services (83 600), up 13.2961 million occupied.

If you thought the US labor participation rate was horrible, Spain is a whole new ballgame:

For its part, the employment rate in this period was 47.84% and the participation rate has fallen from 59.76% (last quarter of 2009) to 59.83%. EPA data from the first quarter of 2010 make it difficult to achieve the objectives of the Government to close this year with an average annual rate of 19%. Although the economic vice president, Elena Salgado, has admitted on occasion that time the unemployment rate could exceed 20%, the fact that this percentage has already been exceeded in the first quarter greatly complicates the executive's plan Rodríguez Zapatero.

Something tells us that S&P will not be too happy with this development. But at least they had their say. Now it's time for Moody's to chime in. And speaking of Moody's, just how long do they hope to continue the farce of rating Greece 6 or so notches above S&P and not have Warren Buffet sell all of their stock?

h/t John