The number of people out of work in Spain rose to a 12-year high in January as companies shed tens of thousands of jobs due to the collapse of a decade-long property boom, official data showed on Tuesday. By the end of January there were more than 3.3 million unemployed workers in Spain, a rise of 198,838, the labour ministry said. The number rose 6.35 percent in January. It was the tenth straight monthly increase and the highest reading since 1996, when the current jobless registration system was introduced. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he expects the situation will start to improve in March and April when 32,000 public works projects get under way across the country which will create over 300,000 jobs.