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ECONOMY

Unemployment in Spain dropped 6.17 percent in 2018

Spanish jobless queues were shorter in 2018, even for the worst-affected youth, though the country still counts 3.2 million people as unemployed, the labour ministry said Thursday.

Unemployment in Spain dropped 6.17 percent in 2018
Photo: AFP

The figure represented a decline of 6.17 percent from 2017, a ministry statement said, without providing a standard unemployment rate.   

But even though unemployment has dropped since 2013 as Spain emerges from an economic crisis, the country still has the eurozone's second highest jobless rate after Greece.

Data from the EU statistics agency Eurostat put the 19-member zone's average unemployment rate at 8.1 percent in October.   

The latest Spanish jobless rate, meanwhile, was 14.55 percent.   

The ministry's annual number of unemployed was nonetheless the lowest since 2009.

Economy minister Nadia Calvino told Spanish radio that “the Spanish economy is creating jobs at a good rhythm.”

She forecast the economy will have grown by 2.6 percent in 2018, slightly stronger than a 2.5 percent forecast by the central bank and International Monetary Fund.

In calculating the number of unemployed, the labour ministry only takes into account those people who have signed up to a job agency.   

As such, their figure is lower than that of Spain's INE statistics agency.   

At the end of October, INE said there were 3.33 million umemployed people in Spain — a jobless rate of 14.55 percent that was slightly below Eurostat's figure.

Spain's Socialist government plans to inject two billion euros ($2.3 billion) into fighting youth unemployment, which it wants to reduce to 23.5 percent within three years.

Unemployment peaked in 2013 when it reached over 26 percent (see graph below):

Source: Statistica.com

READ MORE: Spain pledges €2 billion for tackling youth unemployment 

ECONOMY

Spain’s middle-class youngsters the most likely to end up poor across all EU

Spain leads the ranking of EU countries with the highest risk of young people ending up in poverty as adults, despite coming from families without economic difficulties.

Spain is the fourth EU country with the highest inherited poverty
Spain is EU country with most middle-class young people who end up poor. Photo: Jaime ALEKOS / AFP

Spain is also the fourth EU country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk, according to Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office.

Data on intergenerational poverty indicates that there is a correlation between the financial situation of the household you grew up in and the risk of being poor when you reach adulthood and in Spain, there is a strong link. 

The latest statistics available from 2019 show that the at-risk-of-poverty rate for the EU was 23 percent among adults aged 25 to 59 who grew up in a poor financial situation at home when they were 14 years old. This is 9.6 percentage points more than those who come from families without financial problems (13.4 percent). 

READ ALSO: Spain’s inflation soars to 29-year high

How the situation in Spain compares with the EU

Spain has become the EU country with the highest risk of poverty among adults who grew up in families with a good financial situation  – 16.6 percent.

This was followed by Latvia with 16 percent and Italy with 15.9 percent.

That statistics also show the countries where it is less likely to be poor after growing up in households without economic difficulties. These include the Czech Republic (5.9 percent), Slovakia (7.9 percent) and Finland (8.5 percent).

The overall poverty rate in the EU decreased by 0.1 percentage points between 2011 (13.5 percent) and 2019 (13.4 percent), but the largest increases were seen in Denmark (1.9 points more), Portugal (1.8 points), the Netherlands (1.7 points) and Spain (1.2 points).  

On the other hand, the biggest decreases in the poverty rate were seen in Croatia (-4 percent), Lithuania (-3.6 percent), Slovakia (-3.5 percent) and Ireland (-3.2 percent).

READ ALSO: Spain’s government feels heat as economic recovery lags

Inherited poverty

The stats revealed that Spain was also the fourth country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk (30 percent), only behind Bulgaria (40.1 percent), Romania (32.7 percent) and Italy (30.7 percent).

This means that children of poor parents in Spain are also likely to be poor in adulthood. 

The countries with the lowest rate of inherited poverty risk were the Czech Republic (10.2 percent), Denmark (10.3 percent) and Finland (10.5 percent).

The average risk-of-poverty rate for the EU increased by 2.5 percentage points between 2011 (20.5 percent) and 2019 (23 percent), with the largest increases seen in Bulgaria (6 points more), Slovakia and Romania (4.3 points), Italy (4.2 points) and Spain (4.1 points).

The biggest drops were seen in Latvia (-8.5 points), Estonia (-8.0 points) and Croatia (-2.3 points). 

The largest gaps in people at risk of poverty when they reach adulthood were in Bulgaria (27.6 percentage points more among those who belong to families with a poor economic situation as teenagers compared to those who grew up in wealthy households), Romania (17.1), Italy (14.8), Greece (13.5) and Spain (13.4).

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