BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Unemployment in Argentina jumped in the first quarter, official numbers showed on Monday, with data also confirming a technical recession with two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

The jobless rate of the South American nation rose to 7.7% in the first quarter, up from 6.9% in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, a long-suspected technical recession was confirmed as Argentina's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 2.6% quarter-over-quarter.

Year-over-year, the economy dipped 5.1%, slightly beating analysts' forecast of a 5.25% contraction.

Private consumption slid 6.7% on an annual basis in the quarter, while public consumption fell 5%, data showed. Imports also sank by 20.1%, but exports climbed 26.1%.

(Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Hernan Nessi; Editing by Kylie Madry)