Unemployment in Spain passed the five million mark in the last quarter of 2011, official figures show.
The National Statistics Institute said 5.3 million people were out of work at the end of December, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter.
The rate rose from 21.5% in the third quarter to 22.8% - the highest rate in nearly 17 years.
Spain already has the highest jobless rate in the 17-nation eurozone and is expected to slide back into recession.
The 22.8% rate is more than twice the average unemployment rate of the eurozone, which stood at 10.3% in November, according to data released earlier this month.
The Spanish figures show more than half of all 16-24 year-olds in the country are jobless - 51.4% compared with 45.8% before.
Spain's new ruling Popular Party conservative government has pledged labour reforms to try to imporve the jobs market.
Spain has struggled since the property bubble burst in 2008.
In the years between 2004 and 2008, the average house price in Spain rose 44%, Construction represented about 16% of GDP by the end of the boom, and the unemployment rate was down to 7.95%