10/04/2011 04:36 EDT | Updated 12/03/2011 05:12 EST

Spain: jobless claims soared more than 95,000 last month, worst summer-ending month since 1996

MADRID - Spain says the number of people filing for unemployment benefits shot up by nearly 100,000 in September, a figure particularly large even for a month that tends to be bad for workers as vacation season contracts expire.

The Labor Department says the increase of 95,817 raises the total to 4,226,744.

That's an increase of 2.32 per cent from August. It was also the biggest jump for a September since the department's current accounting system was launched in 1996.

Spain's overall jobless rate is released separately and quarterly and stands at just under 21 per cent.

The economy is posting anemic growth and the government's borrowing costs have risen dramatically in the European debt crisis, with general elections due here Nov. 20.