Unemployment In Spain Reaches 13-Year Low

Spain has historically struggled with a high level of structural unemployment, and this has been a particular problem since the 2008 financial crisis which drove unemployment to an all-time high.

But in what is great news for the country’s economy, unemployment in Spain has now reached a 13-year low. 238,500 new jobs were created in April in Spain, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Inclusion.

In addition to these new jobs being created, registered unemployment in Spain fell by 73,890 people in April, when levels were compared to those released in March. That means that Spain has experienced the lowest volume of unemployment for the month of April since 2008.

Here’s everything you need to know about the decline in unemployment in Spain:

Why Has Unemployment Dropped in Spain?

One of the main reasons for the new jobs created in Spain, and the wider surge in unemployment, was the opening of the hospitality sector. Easter traditionally marks the arrival of tourism in the country, meaning more jobs are created in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Tourism in Spain is set to final return to, or exceed, pre-pandemic levels this year, meaning that more employees will be needed to meet the needs of these tourists. The hotel industry added 119,618 new jobs in April, and was the sector that added the most new jobs during the month. Half of the new jobs created were in hotels or hospitality.

What Sectors Increased Employment Levels in April?

As well as the 119,618 new jobs added in the hotel industry, other sectors which performed well include commerce, administrative activities, and transport which respectively gained 18,713, 11,808, and 10,450 new employees.

Employment either grew or remained stable across all sectors of the Spanish economy. The only sector to buck this trend was the education sector which experienced a decline in employment, with 1,083 fewer employees than in March.

How Many People Are Employed in Spain?

With 238,436 new people registering to the Spanish Social Security system in April, the total number of registered and employed individuals in the country is now 20,614,989. This is the highest figure in the historical series for Spain.

This figure represents the highest number of individuals employed in Spain for the month of April, and the second-highest number of individuals in employment in ever. The only month that has seen higher employment levels was July 2005. Interannual growth in Spain currently sits at 2.98%, which is higher than the 2.73% growth figure for March.

What Are The Current Employment Demographics In Spain?

The decline in unemployment experienced in April was fairly evenly distributed amongst men and women.  38,756 women and 35,134 men found employment.

In good news for the young people living and working in Spain, the number of unemployed people under 25 years old also decreased with 19,848 people under the age of 25 finding employment. This means that there is now a historic minimum of 195,251 unemployed young people living in Spain.

As well as access to employment, young people have better access to permanent employment. For those under 30 years of age, temporary employment has reduced by 32 points, from 53 percent to 21 percent.

Do These Figures Affect The Self-Employed?

The introduction of a digital nomad visa has made working in Spain on a self-employed basis has become a particularly attractive proposition for overseas workers, but how has the decline in unemployment affected self-employed workers in Spain?

The number of self-employed workers increased in April to 3,335,194 affiliates, with an increase of 12,959 from the previous month. This is good news, and demonstrates that the drive to promote self-employment has been successful so far.

However, the president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, warned that, "The data reflects lights and shadows in the job market with an increase in affiliation, but we must be very prudent, because we anticipate that there will be a loss of self-employed this year."

How Has The Government Reacted To These Unemployment Figures?

The response from the political arena has been overwhelmingly positive. Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz states that "Employment is growing, unemployment is reduced and permanent contracts are consolidated,” but also recognised that she had work to do to continue reducing unemployment in the country.

Minister of Inclusion, José Luis Escrivá, called the affiliation data "extraordinary."

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