The unemployment rate in Spain reached a 13-year high in the second quarter, soaring to 20.09 per cent according to the latest figures released Friday by the government.

The increase in the unemployment rate from 20.05 per cent in the first quarter of the year came as a result of a large increase in the work force of 82,700, bringing the total number of unemployed to 4,645,000, 32,800 more than the first quarter. 508,000 people have lost their jobs in the past year.

Unemployment among men dropped by 15,700 people, but rose among women by 48,500. Thus, male unemployment fell by 0.62% over the first quarter, compared with a year earlier when it rose 10.87%. Meanwhile, unemployment among women rose 2.36% in the quarter and 14.02% over the year.

The unemployment rate is the highest since 1997 , having doubled in a matter of 24 months.

The number of households with all their members unemployed increased by 9,800 in the second quarter, an increase of 0.75% with an overall increase over the past year to 190,000 households, an increase of 17 per cent.