The number of officially registered job seekers in Spain fell in July by 64,866 people to a total of 4,698,814, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said Friday.

That marked the fifth consecutive month in which the number of registered unemployed has fallen, according to the ministry, which said the fall in the ranks of the jobless was more than double the drop counted in the same month of 2012.

Nevertheless, the number of officially registered job seekers has risen by 111,359 people since July 2012.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced Thursday that 341,408 people had been removed from the unemployment rolls over the past five months.

Unemployment among people under the age of 25 fell in July by 2 percent, or 8,489 people, while joblessness among those 25 and older dropped by 56,377, or 1.3 percent, the ministry said.

The secretary of state for employment, Engracia Hidalgo, hailed the drop in officially registered job seekers in July, saying it was in line with the improvement in other economic indicators and marked the continuation of a downward trend for unemployment.

In that regard, she said the number of jobless had fallen by 149,909 people since the beginning of the year, "the sharpest drop since 2004." EFE