Unemployment in Spain fell sharply in July

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unemployment rate falling

MADRID – With 197,841 fewer job seekersJuly is the month in which the unemployment rate fell the most. Not only that, the Seguridad Social has never before registered so many employees as in the past month. 

However, the Seguridad Social considers all temporarily unemployed persons with an ERTE scheme as active employees. The historic decline in the unemployment rate must also be seen in perspective with the large increase in the previous period when many restrictions were still in place throughout Spain. 

Moreover, this favourable development in the labour market is not representative for the whole year.  Because the economy picks up in summer due to the large share of tourism in the gross domestic product (GDP). 

Economic growth despite the fifth corona wave 

Nevertheless, despite the rapid spread of the delta variant, the economy has picked up considerably this summer. Compared to the previous month (June), 94,451 more employees were registered with the Seguridad Social. This meant a total of 19,591,728 contributors registered. Furthermore, this is evident from data released by the Ministry of Inclusiveness, Social Security and Migration on Tuesday. 

90% of ERTEs recovered 

In July, the number of temporary unemployed for whom an ERTE scheme has also continued to fall. At the end of last month, 331,486 employees were temporarily at home. So this means 90% of the number of temporarily unemployed during the peak of the pandemic have now returned to work. 

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All in all, unemployment in Spain is already declining for the third month in a row with new record figures. In May, 129,378 people were able to return to work. In June there were 167,000 and in July 197,841. A total of 3,416,498 job seekers are currently registered. It is the first time that the unemployment rate has fallen below 3.5 million since the start of the pandemic. However, excluding the seasonal effect, the number of unemployed fell in July not by 197,841, but by 191,756. 

Improvement in all sectors 

Unemployment fell in all sectors of the Spanish economy in July. The percentage decrease in each sector is as follows;

  • Service – 5.29%
  • Industrial – 4.60%
  • Construction – 3.62%
  • Agricultural – 4.82%.

According to Ministry of Employment data, the industrial sector unemployment rate is now even lower than before the pandemic. 

In absolute numbers, unemployment fell most sharply among women in July, with 104,891 fewer job seekers compared to June. Currently, a total of 2,017,719 women are unemployed, versus 1,398,779 unemployed men. 

Unemployment down throughout Spain 

Looking at geographical distribution, unemployment in six autonomous regions was lower in July than before the corona pandemic began. Such was the case in Galicia, Extremadura, Asturias, Castile-La Mancha, the Balearic Islands and Cantabria. The unemployment rate fell in all autonomous regions last month. This figure fell most sharply in Andalucia, Catalonia, and the Canary Islands. 

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