Spain's jobless rate edges down to 24.5 percent in second quarter as economy gains traction

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Official figures show that Spain's unemployment rate edged down to 24.5 percent in the second quarter from 25.9 percent in the previous three-month period, a further sign that the economy's recovery is gaining traction and making solid inroads into the labor market.

Spain's National Statistics Institute said Thursday that the number of people out of work fell by 310, 400 in the quarter, leaving the total number of unemployed at a rounded 5.6 million. That's down from 5.9 million in the first quarter.

Spain is battling to recover from two recessions, the last of which ended last year. The economy has expanded in each of the past four quarters.

The Bank of Spain estimates the economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the second quarter, the fastest in six years.