New record in Spain: lowest unemployment since 2008

by Lorraine Williamson
lowest unemployment figures

MADRID – Spain has reached a new milestone in the labour market. According to the latest data from the Active Population Survey (EPA), the country has more than 21 million workers for the first time. 

This is an increase of 603,900 employees compared to the previous quarter. In addition, unemployment has fallen to 11.6%, the lowest level since 2008. 

In the first half of this year, 592,800 jobs were added, almost double the number in the first half of 2022. These numbers approach the records set in 2005 when 669,800 jobs were created in the first six months. 

Seasonal effect reinforces a positive trend 

The positive trend is reinforced by the seasonal activities that traditionally contribute to the Spanish economy in the second quarter. Compared to 2022, when 383,300 jobs were added, almost 600,000 new jobs have been added this year. 

Unemployment has also fallen significantly. There are now 2.76 million unemployed, down 365,300 from the previous quarter. This is significantly better than the average decline over the last six years, which was 227,140, excluding the anomalous 2020 numbers due to the pandemic. 

“Extraordinary Figures” 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez praised the “extraordinary” figures and stressed the strength of the Spanish economy. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, and the Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, also expressed their satisfaction with the figures. 

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Strong growth in hospitality and technical activities 

At the sector level, there was notable growth in the hospitality industry, with 270,900 new jobs, representing 44.9% of total job growth over this period. The sector of professional, scientific and technical activities also showed strong growth, with an increase of 103,600 employees. 

Despite the overall positive trend, there are sectors that have lost jobs, including industry, education, and the water and waste management sector. 

More foreigners working in Spain 

In terms of gender and nationality distribution, there are now 11.26 million male and 9.8 million female workers in Spain. However, unemployment among women is higher (13.2%) than among men (10.2%). In addition, the number of employed foreigners and persons with dual nationality has increased, highlighting their growing role in the Spanish labour market. 

The biggest growth in the Balearic Islands 

Regionally, the Balearic Islands experienced the greatest growth in employment, while Ceuta showed a decline. In terms of unemployment rates, the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands and La Rioja have the lowest rates, while Canarias, Extremadura and Andalucia have the highest. 

Also read: Is the Spanish economy doing well or not? 

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