The number of people registered as unemployed in Spain fell by 2.4%, or 76,782 people, in December from November – the 10th consecutive month of falling unemployment figures, Labour Ministry data showed on Tuesday.
It is now the lowest unemployment figure for the month of December in Spain since 2007.
For the year, the number of people registered as being unemployed dropped by 782,232 in 2021 over 2020 to stand at 3.1 million at the end of December, the Labour Ministry said. It is the biggest drop since the current statistical series began in 1996.
Spain added 70,814 net jobs during December, whilst some 102,548 people were still enrolled in the state-supported furlough scheme, 35,000 fewer than a month earlier, separate data from the Social Security Ministry showed.
‘The data once again reflects the progress of Spain’s recovery,’ Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.
The improved figures for 2021 are mainly due to the relaxation of Covid restrictions that finally boosted Spain’s key tourism sector, the official statistics showed.
The total number of foreign tourists who visited Spain during 2020 had fallen by over 80% to 19 million, the lowest figure since 1969, with the pandemic devastating one of the country’s key industries. Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019, receiving 83.7m visitors during the full year. Its tourism sector normally accounts for 12.3% of the country’s GDP – and it also generates more than 2.6m jobs in the country.
Spain finally welcomed back 28.2 million foreign tourists during the first 11 months of 2021, 9.9 million more than in the previous year, the National Statistics institute (INE) also said on Tuesday.
The Spanish government had hoped to attract around 45 million tourist visits in 2021, around half the figure for 2019 before the pandemic hit.
El paro baja y ya encadena 10 meses consecutivos de descensos, algo que no había sucedido en toda la serie histórica. Los datos vuelven a reflejar el avance de la recuperación en España. No nos detenemos. Trabajamos para combatir la precariedad y seguir creando empleo de calidad. https://t.co/AwNWKxq34n— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) January 4, 2022