Spain’s unemployment at its lowest in 10 years

29 Jan 2019

workingSpain’s unemployment rate has fallen in the fourth quarter, dropping to its lowest level in ten years as an increase in agriculture and construction jobs counteracted the tourist industry’s off-season, according to official statistics released Tuesday.

The National Statistics Institute revealed that the unemployment rate decreased from 14.55% to 14.45% in one quarter, marking a 21,700 decrease in the total number of people out of work.

When compared to a year earlier, the total number of people working in Spain increased by 566,200 to 19.56 million in the fourth quarter. INE data showed that this marked the largest annual increase since 2016. On a quarterly basis, the number of people employed increased by 36,600.

Seasonal factors, such as agriculture and tourism (which is worth almost 12% of economic output) always play a role in the job market as employees are forced to rely on short-term, temporary contracts.

From a quarter earlier, the agriculture and construction sectors boasted an increase in the number of people working, while the number declined in services and industry. On the other hand, the number of people employed rose in all main sectors except in industry when seen from a year earlier.

The total number of people in work or looking for work rose by 103,800 to 22.87 million people in the fourth quarter from the year prior.

These data results highlight the continuous steady fall seen in Spanish unemployment since a high of nearly 27% seen in early 2013, following the burst of a property bubble in 2008 and a five-year economic slump which had greatly impacted jobs.