Spain's jobless total rose for a third straight month in October to 4.18 million, the employment ministry said on Tuesday.
The month-on-month rise in registered jobless numbers was 82,327.
The ministry noted, however, that "unemployment always rises in October" as seasonal summer work drops off.
Joblessness began to rise again in August, after six straight falls, owing to a drop off in opportunities in tourism, fishing and agriculture.
The national statistics office (INE), meanwhile, had 4.85 million people out of work at the end of the third quarter, or 21.18 percent of the working-age population.
INE measures usually come in higher because they take into account all those actively seeking work as opposed to only those registered with job agencies.
Spain's conservative government has said it expects a slight drop in unemployment to 21.1 percent by year end, down from 23.7 percent a year earlier. It hopes the fall could give it a boost going into December 20 general elections.
The Spanish jobless rate remains the highest in the eurozone with the exception of Greece.
But it has fallen significantly from a peak of 26.9 percent in early 2013 and is also down from the 22.6-percent rate Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy inherited when he took office at the end of 2011.