Unemployment climbs in Spain after busy tourist summer season ends

Spain is still the second-worst performer in the European Union after Greece where employment is concerned. Now nearly 3.4 million people in Spain are officially registered as being out of work, new statistics show.

Jobless claims increased by 46,000 people in August compared to the previous month of July as the peak tourist season died down, El Pais reports. 

Currently in Spain, 3,382,324 people are registered as unemployed, though this figure has previously risen above four million.

But these statistics can be considered positive, according to Euro Weekly News, as the summer's unemployment rate is the lowest the country has had in the past eight years.

READ ALSO: Spain is continuing to beat expectations on unemployment

At the height of the economic crisis in 2013, Spain's unemployment rate rose to close to 27 percent, before falling again to reach 18.6 percent last year, still far higher than pre-crisis levels.

“The unemployment rate this year will clearly fall below 17 percent,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told reporters in March, which he said meant jobs for “more than half a million people.”

The Spanish government had initially forecast it would reach 17.6 percent at the end of 2017.

In July 2017, the unemployment rate in Spain was 17.1 percent, according to Eurostat.

The majority of new jobs created in Spain this year were in the hospitality industry and the health and social services industries.

Manufacturing, education and construction numbers dwindled. But statistically they’re expected to recover again in September.



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