SPANISH retailers are taking on 5% more staff this Christmas than they did last year.

Most contracts will be offered to people under 30, and some 6,000 jobs will be created by service providers related to ANGED, an association of retailers which includes El Corte Ingles.

Public sector workers will also get their customary double-wage payment at Christmas which the government withdrew in 2012 as part of austerity measures, a sign the economy is looking a little stronger.

Retail sales dropped in October, but by just 0.5% the smallest contraction since June 2010, suggesting some confidence may be returning.

Spain’s Christmas shopping period lasts until presents are traditionally given at the end of the holiday period on the Epiphany, January 6.