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UNEMPLOYMENT

Spain sees fifth month of falling jobless figures

Spain's unemployment rate fell for the fifth month in a row in June, but most of the new jobs created are only temporary, figures released on Friday by Spain's Employment Ministry show.

Spain sees fifth month of falling jobless figures
Only 6.39 percent of the job contracts signed in Spain in June were for ongoing positions. Photo: Dominique Faget

For the first time since 2007, Spain's jobless rate has fallen for five consecutive months, Spain's Employment Ministry have touted.

A total of 64,866 people — or left the unemployment queues in June, the ministry's figures show.

This means Spain has seen a 340,000 strong reduction in unemployment in the last five months.

This put the total number of people out of work at 4,698,814.

But Spanish media sources were careful to put the good news into perspective.

Total unemployment has increased by 2.43 percent since July 2012 with the jobless queues seeing 111,359 new people in the last twelve months, free daily 20minutos reported.

El País newspaper said the lower July jobless figures were a result of the 'summer effect', with temporary tourism jobs giving the numbers a facelift.

The number of new contracts signed in July was 1,507,341, or 18 percent up on June 2013.

But only 6.39 percent of these jobs were ongoing positions.

Spain has two sets of unemployment figures, providing different estimates.

Employment Ministry figures are based on the number of unemployed persons registered in their offices.

Spain's INE, however, conducts a survey (the EPA) of 65,000 Spanish households to obtain its results.

The EPA includes responses from some people who want to work but who are not registered in the employment offices.

The responses also include those who fall into other special working categories which are not recorded by the Ministry.

This explains why EPA unemployment figures are much higher than those of Spain's Employment Ministry.

The latest EPA figures, released on July 25, show Spain's unemployment to be 5,977,500, or down 225,200 in the second quarter of 2013. 

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government is forecasting a jobless rate of 26.7 percent in 2014 and 25 percent in 2015.

Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, is still struggling to overcome the aftermath of a decade-long property bubble that imploded in 2008, destroying millions of jobs and sending debt levels soaring.

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ECONOMY

Unemployment in Spain hits four million for first time since 2016

The number of people in Spain registered as unemployed surpassed four million for the first time in five years in February, government figures showed Tuesday, as pandemic restrictions hit the country's tourism-dependent economy.

Unemployment in Spain hits four million for first time since 2016
Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Jobless claims rose by nearly 45,000 last month over last month to hit 4,008,789, the labour ministry said, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

The rise is due to the impact of “severe restrictions imposed to combat the third wave of the pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

The last time the number of jobless in Spain rose above four million was in April 2016.

Spain’s regional governments, which are responsible for health, have imposed various measures to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including shutting down bars and restaurants and nightly curfews which have hit the hospitality sector hard.

A broader, quarterly household survey by the national statistics institute INE provides the official unemployment rate, which hit 3.7 million or 16.1 percent at the end of December.

Both the labour ministry and the INE figures do not include the roughly 755,000 people benefitting from a government coronavirus furlough scheme as of the end of last year.

The Spanish government says it has spent €40 billion ($48 billion) since the start of the pandemic to finance the furlough scheme and help the self-employed.

Spain’s economy contracted by 11 percent in 2020, one of the worst performers in the eurozone, with its key tourism sector battered by the
pandemic.

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