Spanish Unemployment Rate Drops Despite The Covid Crisis

Spanish Unemployment Rate Drops Despite The Covid Crisis. image: Wikipedia

Spanish Unemployment Rate Drops Despite The Covid Crisis.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt in the Spanish labour market. However, the latest figures offered by the Labour and Social Security ministries are affording some relief.

Spain’s unemployment figure decreased by 39,012 between the end of March and the end of April, leaving a total of 3,910,628 people currently registered as jobless. Meanwhile, the Social Security system added 134,396 new contributors over the same period, to reach an average of 19,055,298.

The labour market improved in April thanks to job creation in construction, agriculture, fishing and the livestock industry. The tourism sector, on the other hand, continued to shed jobs.

Spanish Unemployment Rate falls in April

April is traditionally a good month for employment in Spain, partly because of seasonal factors such as the arrival of warm weather and the Easter vacations that kick off the tourism season. But the coronavirus pandemic has affected two Easters in a row now, undermining the stimulus to the hospitality industry. Whereas April 2017 set a new record for monthly drops in unemployment, in April 2021, there were 79,425 more jobless people in Spain than a year earlier – despite the fact that in April 2020, everyone was confined in their homes due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The figures also offer a clear picture of the gender gap: women account for 57.8% of Spain’s unemployed population. Broken down by regions, the highest jobless numbers are to be found in Andalusia (984,497), Catalonia (497,185) and the Valencia region (447,650). Despite this, Catalonia experienced the second-biggest drop in monthly unemployment (-8,715), after the Basque Country (-3,039).

Although 1,356,845 new contracts were signed in April, it was still 47,262 fewer than in March. Additionally, 87.9% of these were temporary contracts, reflecting a longstanding structural problem with the Spanish job market.

Despite ongoing restrictions on mobility that are hurting tourism, some measures have been eased – including longer opening hours for bars and restaurants – and this has provided some relief to struggling businesses. Help has also come in the form of the government’s ERTE job retention scheme, although the latest extension to this program is due to expire on May 31.

Source: El Pais

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Written by

Natasha Brewer

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