MADRID, Spain (AP) -- The number of people claiming jobless benefits rose by nearly half a million over the past year, Spain's Labor Ministry said Tuesday.
The nearly 25-percent increase brings the total to a 10-year high of 2.53 million.
The ministry said in a statement that 501,705 people have signed up for unemployment benefits since August 2007. The number rose by 103,085 last month.
Spain's economy has posted more than a decade of strong growth but is now reeling because of a collapse in the construction industry and high interest rates.
The economy is expected to grow at less than 2 percent this year compared with 3.8 percent in 2007.