MADRID – The Spanish labour market continues to grow. For the first time in history, the country has more than 21.2 million people in work. However, not everything is rosy: the number of unemployed rose by 92,700 to 2.85 million between June and September.
This is evident from the latest Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) figures. The labour market received a significant boost thanks to a strong tourist season, which was extended by higher temperatures well into October.
In the third quarter, 209,200 new jobs were created. This is almost three times as many as in the same period last year, when 77,700 jobs were added. Foreign workers in particular benefited from this with an increase of 146,600 new jobs.
Reverse side of the coin
Although the total number of workers is historically high, the number of unemployed rose to 2.85 million. The unemployment rate nevertheless remains below 12%, and youth unemployment is the lowest since 2008. The government is celebrating the figures as proof of the “strength and dynamism of the Spanish economy”. However, the opposition is calling for caution due to the “vulnerability of our labour system”.
Sex and age
The labour market saw an increase of 130,500 men and 78,600 women, bringing the total number of working women to an all-time high of 9,878,200. Among young people under the age of 25, the number of workers increased by 138,500, and among the group over 55 years of age by 93,300.
Unemployment varies widely by region. While in Madrid and Andalucia the number of unemployed rose by 37,600 and 30,700 respectively, Castilla-La Mancha, Balearic Islands and Aragon saw their unemployment rates fall.
However, it remains a mixed picture: on one hand there is a record number of workers, and on the other hand the number of unemployed is also growing. Experts warn that despite these positive figures, caution is required in the face of a slowing international economy.