The unemployment rate in Spain declined in the second quarter of this year to 11.60%, a 15-year low, down from 13.26% in the previous three months.

This is according to data published on Thursday by the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE).

Spain’s unemployment rate hasn’t been as low since the third quarter of 2008 when it stood at 11.23%, the Statistics Institute affirmed.

The number of people employed in Spain over the three months increased to an all-time high of 21.1 million. This followed a rise of 603,900 from the first quarter, Reuters news agency reports.

According to economists surveyed by Reuters, the country’s unemployment rate would decline to 13%. Between April and June last year, the rate stood at 12.48%.

Spain is the world’s second-most visited country after France, and the second quarter of the year is typically strong for unemployment. Seasonal sectors, such as tourism and agriculture, usually recruit more employees after the winter season. 

“These are extraordinary figures that demonstrate the strength of our economy,” according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The decline in unemployment in Spain between April and June this year impacted all sectors, the Reuters report goes on to say, in particular services and construction.

Spain’s economy has outperformed the majority of its European Union counterparts. Last year the economy grew 5.5%, and the government forecasts it will grow by 2.1% this year, AFP reports.

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased its growth forecast for Spain for 2023 to 2.5% from 1.5%, noting the robust performance of the tourism sector.

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