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Spain’s unemployment rate has hit a modern day record, and joblessness among young people has topped 55%.

Official data showed that the jobless rate in the last three months of 2012 rose 1% to 26%, or 5.97 million people.

The figure, the highest since the mid-1970s, follows Spain’s prolonged recession and deep spending cuts.

The impact has been acute for 16 to 24-year-olds, who saw the rate in the last quarter of 2012 surge to 55.13% from 52.34% in the previous three months.

Spain’s economy sank into recession after its property crash left millions of low-skilled workers without a job, and general economic decline eroded business and consumer confidence.