In Spain, employment rose the fastest in the 3rd quarter of all European countries. Employment in Spain is head and shoulders above the European average, but lags behind hours worked and GDP growth.
In the months of July, August and September, Spain leads all European countries in terms of employment growth. In the third quarter of this year, employment increased by 1.4% compared to the previous quarter. And even by 2.4% compared to the same period in 2021.
Spain head and shoulders above Europe
Employment figures in European countries were released by Eurostat on Thursday. Average employment in the eurozone increased by 0.3% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. Yet Spain stands head and shoulders above this. The Netherlands takes second place after Spain with a growth of 0.5%. The largest declines in employment were recorded in Finland (0.8%), Romania (-0.6%) and Poland (-0.4%).
Growth in GDP and number of hours worked lags behind in Spain
Despite this growth and the fact that expectations for Q3 have been beaten, Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP) is not following the same upward trend. Spain’s GDP growth slowed in the third quarter of the year and is at 0.2%, well below the 1.5% recorded between April and June, but equal to that of the eurozone and the EU.
The number of hours worked even showed a decrease of 0.1%. These are special phenomena since, according to statistics, more people went to work in the third quarter. Experts tell Spanish media Cinco Días and Business Insider that this is due to the seasonal effect in Spain; the fact that the Spanish economy always flourishes in the summer months thanks to the flow of tourists.
Seasonal effect and reduced dependence Russian war
An example given by experts for increased employment but a slowdown in GDP is that hotels and restaurants want to remain open for customers, but receive fewer customers than before the pandemic. For example, with a hotel of which half of the rooms are filled, all the work will still have to be done. You need cleaners, cooks and catering staff but not for the number of hours they worked before the pandemic. For example, employment is growing, but employers can give their people fewer hours because the occupation is not yet optimal.
Despite this explanation, it remains remarkable that employment in Spain has grown so fast. The same experts say that Spain is less dependent on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and that tourism in Spain is recovering rapidly with a first normal summer since the pandemic.
Also read: Unemployment fell again in November in Spain