Spain ended 2013 with 4.7 million people officially registered as unemployed, a reduction of more than 147,000 compared with 12 months earlier, the Employment Ministry said. The ranks of the jobless declined by nearly 108,000 in December alone, Spanish news agency (EFE) reported The figures for the last few months of 2013 indicate a favorable evolution and will serve as encouragement "to continue working for recovery and employment in 2014," the ministry said. Unemployment among Spain's substantial immigrant population fell by more than 56,000 over the course of last year and now stands at roughly 555,000, according to the ministry's report. Besides the monthly figures from the Employment Ministry, the Spanish government conducts a quarterly survey of the workforce. The latest survey, from the July-September period, showed 5.9 million people out of work, equivalent to a jobless rate of 25.9 percent. The number of people subject to payroll tax for Spain's Social Security system - which reflects the level of formal employment - slipped 0.52 percent in 2013. Even so, December saw a net gain of 64,097 over November, bringing the total of workers affiliated with Social Security to 16.35 million. Spain ended a streak of nine consecutive quarters of contraction in the third quarter of 2013, posting growth of 0.1 percent.