MADRID (APP) – Many of Spain’s five million unemployed dream of finding a steady job in the economic recovery vaunted by the government — but a legion of undeclared workers still scrape by cash-in-hand.

“Nowadays the phrase ‘steady job’ means nothing in Spain,” said Paloma Sotillo, 43. She is one of 1.7 million people in Spain who admit to earning at least part of their pay in the “black economy”, without tax or social security contributions.

Spain’s economy returned to growth in 2013 after five years of economic crisis, but its unemployment rate is still the second-highest in the eurozone after Greece.

The rate dipped to 22.37 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to official data published this week.

A study by Catalan business school Esade indicated however that one in 10 employees and one in five unemployed people in Spain did work for earnings that they did not declare to the taxman.

Sotillo said she had been unemployed for a year when she found a job in a Madrid toyshop in December 2013. She worked there for a year before stopping in order to look after her sick mother.