Policymakers need to confront job losses and take steps to protect those hit hardest by economic woes, Spain's Crown Prince Felipe said here Friday in an address to the International Labor Conference.

"The crisis has taught us that there tends to be a considerable lag between economic recovery and the recovery of employment," he told delegates at International Labor Organization headquarters in Geneva.

Measures intended to spur economic growth should be accompanied by "others that stop job destruction and guarantee social protection," the Spaniard said.

"At a time like the present we must act and concern ourselves with those people without work, with those families in which all the members are unemployed and, in particular, with the future of the young people who don't find work opportunities," Prince Felipe said.

Spain is struggling with overall unemployment of more than 24 percent, while the jobless rate among young people is approaching 50 percent.

The prince stressed Spain's determination to overcome the present difficulties and pointed to "realities such as the broad sectoral and geographical diversification of the Spanish economy, its high level of competitiveness, with leading companies in many sectors, and the excellent preparation of many young Spaniards." EFE