The number of unemployed people in Spain dropped by 225,200 to 5.97 million in the second quarter, pushing the unemployment rate down by 0.9 percent to 26.26 percent, the government said in a report Thursday.

Employment rose by 149,000 to 16.78 million in the April-June period, with the labor force participation rate at 59.54 percent, the Labor Force Survey said.

The drop in unemployment was the biggest since 2008, comparing the employment trend in the second quarter of each of the five previous years.

The unemployment rate for men in the second quarter was 25.58 percent, down 1.2 percent from the prior quarter, while the jobless rate for women was 27.06 percent, a drop of slightly more than half a percentage point.

The youth unemployment rate - calculated for those younger than 25 - was 56.14 percent in the second quarter, down 1.08 percentage points from the January-March period.

The number of self-employed people in Spain rose by 37,300 to 3.04 million in the second quarter. EFE