Spain's unemployment figures rose for the second straight month in September as the end of the holiday season saw jobs in the country's key tourism sector dry up, the government said today.

The number of jobless rose from the previous month by 95,817 people, or 2.3%, to 4.2m in September, the Labour Ministry said. This came after a 1.3% rise in August that put an end to four straight months of declines.

Spain's unemployment rate, which is calculated separately by the National Statistics Institute, amounted to 20.9% in the second quarter of 2011 - the highest among industrialised nations.

"After a few very positive months for the tourism sector, the end of the season has caused a rise in the number of people registering as being out of work because their contracts ended" and the rise "is much higher than in other years," said secretary of state for employment, Mari Luz Rodriguez, in a statement.

Jobless numbers peaked in March at 4.3m, the highest total since the figures were first collated 15 years earlier.

That peak surpassed even the numbers reached during the height of Spain's economic crisis in 2008.