Unemployment traditionally up in Spain in August falls short of expectations this year

by Lorraine Williamson
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The summer season is coming to an end and that means that employment is falling in Spain. This is a recurring unemployment pattern. This year in August, although 40,400 more people were unemployed in Spain, the number of jobs fell by 190,000. 

However, the ‘worrying’ slowdown in employment predicted four weeks ago does not yet seem to be reflected in the figures for August, a traditionally negative month.  

Given July’s turbulent month and the increasingly complex economic environment, it was feared that the decline would be sharply higher than usual. In the end, there were 190,000 fewer jobs in August. This is more than last year and the year before, but less than the figures for two years  pre-pandemic.  

It is a month traditionally marked by the end of summer contracts. Nevertheless, this year’s results are better than in previous years’, explains the Ministry of Social Security. The total number of employed persons is 20,151,001. That is 3.5% more than a year ago. Of the registered contracts, 40% were for an indefinite period of time. Moreover, that is four times higher than before the labour reform in Spain. 

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Dynamics in certain sectors 

‘In the month of August we saw remarkable dynamism in sectors such as information technology and telecommunications and professional, scientific and technical activities,’ the ministry said. Employment in the hospitality sector also grew by 1,500 people. The decrease is concentrated in sectors such as trade, education, construction and administrative activities.  

Unemployment up by 40,428 people  

Unemployment figures also reflect the end of the holiday season “Despite the context of economic uncertainty, this is a much milder increase than in recent years before the pandemic,” the Ministry of Labour points out. At the end of August, a total of 2,924,240 people were registered with the Spanish state employment services (SEPE).  

As with the registrations at the job centres, the increase in unemployment this year in August is lower than in 2017, 2018 and 2019, if the two years of the pandemic are not taken into account. 

Also read: Unemployment at lowest rate since 2008

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