Spain announces record drop in unemployment

05 Jan 2022

Unemployment in Spain has fallen by 2.41% - 76,782 people – in December, the 10th consecutive month of lower employment figures and the lowest for this month since 2007, says the country’s Ministry of Labour.

By December, 3.1 million people were registered as unemployed with the public employment services (SEPE), a decline of 782,323 compared to 2020, and a fall of 20.12% as per official unemployment stats unveiled by the inclusion and labour ministry on Tuesday.

As per the report, last year came to an end with an average of 19.8 million more affiliated workers within the country’s Social Security, a rise of 776,478 compared to December 2020, the largest annual job creation since 2005.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez described the figures as an “appetiser”, highlighting the start of the economic recovery following two years of contraction due to the Covid crisis. The tourism industry – which makes up around 14% of GDP - was impacted particularly hard by the pandemic.

These figures “once again reflect the progress of the recovery in Spain”, the PM added.

“Unemployment is down and now (it has recorded) 10 consecutive months of decreases, something that had not happened in the entire historical series (official figures)”, Sánchez said on Twitter.

“We are not stopping (…) we will work to combat precariousness and continue to create quality employment”, he added.

Following all-time high growth within the services sector, employment rose last year at a rate of 4.08%, compared to 2.02% in 2019 and 2020, when employment dropped by 1.86%, 360,105 people, as a result of the pandemic.

At the end of last month, Spain’s government approved labour legislation reform to eradicate structural issues in the local job market, such as excessive temporary contracts.