• Spain's news in English

477,900 leave jobless queues in 2014

The Local/AFP · 22 Jan 2015, 09:50

Published: 22 Jan 2015 09:50 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Spain's unemployment queues grew by 30,100 in the fourth quarter of 2014 but shrank by 477,900 over the course of the year, new figures released on Thursday show.

The total number of people out of work is 5,457,700, according to the figures from Spain's national statistics agency.

This put the country's official unemployment rate at 23.7 percent, just up from the 23.67 percent registered in the third quarter of 2014 and still one of the highest levels in the European Union.

The fall was greater than what had been expected by the government, which had forecast the country would end 2014 with a jobless rate of 24.2 percent as en economic recovery gains pace.

The Spanish economy, the eurozone's fourth-largest, has enjoyed modest but steady growth since emerging in mid-2013 from its second recession after the collapse of a property bubble in 2008 which brought Spain to the verge of default.

The statistics office said employment increased by 433,900 in 2014. By sector employment increased by 344,200 in services, 98,000 in industry and 40,000 in construction.

The government estimates the economy will have expanded by 1.4 percent in 2014 and will grow by 2.0 percent in 2015, a faster growth rate than is expected in France, Germany and Italy.

It sees Spain's unemployment rate easing to 22.2 percent at the end of 2015.    

A total of 5.46 million people were unemployed in Spain at the end of 2014, according to the statistics office.

The jobless rate remains the highest in the European Union after Greece's, which stood at 25.8 percent at the end of October.

Rajoy, who is facing a general election at the end of the year, credits a 2012 labour law reform which has made it easier for employers to lay off workers or reduce their wages, thus reducing their risk in creating jobs.

Unions say the reforms unfairly favour employers and destroy hard-fought rights and have only helped create low wage jobs. 

The International Labour Organization is more pessimistic than the government when it comes to job creation in Spain.

In its latest forecasts published on Tuesday it predicted Spain will have a jobless rate of 23.8 percent at the end of 2015. It sees the country's jobless rate remaining above 20 percent until the end of the decade.

Story continues below…

Spanish bank BBVA forecasts it will take eight tp 10 years for Spain's jobless rate to return to the levels close to those that existed before the property bubble collapsed.

Spain's unemployment rate stood at 8.57 percent in 2007.

Thursday's figures  — different from the monthly figures provided by Spain's Labour Ministry — are based on a quarterly survey of 65,000 households across the country, or the EPA.

The EPA is considered the clearest picture of unemployment in the country as it also captures people who are looking for work, but are not registered at the country's employment offices.   

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available