Spain's jobless rate fell by 0.1 percent in March from a month earlier, or by 4,979 people, leaving 5.04 million people out of work, data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday (April 2nd).

The data marked the first March fall in jobless figures since 2008, the Ministry said.

Some people queuing at a public unemployment office in Madrid on Tuesday morning cautiously welcomed the news.

The National Statistics Institute quarterly jobless survey, which polls registered and non-registered unemployed people, showed in January there were almost six million people out of work in Spain at the end of 2012, or 26 percent of the workforce.

Joaquin Espinosa, who used to work as a catering assistant, said he had not lost hope that things would improve in Spain.

"Let's see if it's true that it goes down and we can make some progress. Things are currently very bad but there is still hope. We can't lose hope. As the pope says, 'Don't take hope away from us'," he said.

The Spanish economy is expected to contract sharply this year and most economists predict it will not return to growth until at least the end of 2013 as the 2008 property crash and sky-high unemployment weigh on consumer and business demand.

Presented by Adam Justice