Under 3 million unemployed in Spain for the first time since 2008

by Lorraine Williamson
under 3 million unemployed

MADRID – There are under 3 million unemployed in Spain for the first time since the economic crisis after the housing bubble burst. The labour market added 383,000 workers in the second quarter of this year. 

Those numbers may not say much by themselves. But they do if you realise that unemployment has not been this low since 2008. This is evident from figures from the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) published today. 

The unemployment rate is now at 12.48%. The growth is mainly in permanent jobs (616,700 more), despite the decline in temporary jobs (241,300). The number of job seekers fell by a total of 255,300 people. Therefore, this brings the total number of unemployed under 3 million. 

Compared to last year, 4% more jobs were created and the number of job seekers fell by 17.62%. What is striking is that employment in the private sector increased and in government employment decreased by 14,300. 375,400 employees have been added, while 10,000 self-employed have been added. 12,700 more women than men have indeed been hired. However, in total there are 10.9 million working men and 9.5 million working women. Furthermore, employment has increased in all age groups, but most among those in their twenties. 

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Do not cheer too early 

However, the champagne bottle cannot yet be opened, according to Yolanda Díaz, the Spanish Minister of Employment. She points out that the number of temporary jobs has fallen with the labour reform. She thinks the numbers are “extraordinary”, especially because the recovery from the crisis due to the pandemic was slowed down by the war in Ukraine. However, she believes caution is warranted, also because “certain uncertainties for the labour market” have been visible since 15 July. In addition, the months of August, September and October are “often not good months for the job market” due to the seasonal effect. 

Fewer long-term unemployed 

There are almost 100,000 fewer long-term job seekers (a decrease can also be seen for starters in the labour market). The service sector is doing particularly well (120,700 less); in construction, the number of job seekers has remained almost the same (400 more). The number of women seeking employment has fallen more than the number of men seeking employment; which puts the unemployment rate for women at 10.99% and that for men at 14.15%. The number of job seekers has decreased in all age groups, except for young people between the ages of 16 and 19 (that is, 20,900 more). 

Also read: Unemployment in Spain at lowest level since 2008

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