The number of registered unemployed people in Spain fell by 98,265, or 1.97 percent, to 4.89 million in May, marking the third straight month of declines, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said Tuesday.

The number of registered unemployed, however, rose by 176,806, or 3.75 percent, on a year-on-year basis.

The drop last month was the biggest on record for any May, with the average drop in registered unemployment for the month coming in at 54,450 since 1997, the ministry said in a statement.

Registered unemployment fell in all sectors last month, while it fell by 2.48 percent for men and 1.47 percent for women.

Unemployment for men, however, was up 2.93 percent and it rose 4.56 percent for women year-on-year.

Registered unemployment fell 3.53 percent last month for workers under the age of 25, while the year-on-year rate dropped 6.59 percent.

These figures cover people registered as unemployed at public employment offices and reflect a lower unemployment rate than the labor force survey shows.

Spain has been mired in a deep recession since 2008 due to the financial crisis caused by the bursting of the real estate bubble. EFE