8th June 2023
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Unemployment in Spain below three million for first time since 2008

The number of people unemployed in Spain fell below three million in May for the first time since 2008, government figures showed on Thursday.

By the end of May, 2.92 million people were officially looking for work, the labour ministry figures revealed – with the monthly figure falling by 99,512 from the previous month, which is 3.3%.

This is the lowest figure since November 2008 at the start of the [global] financial crisis,’ a ministry statement said, highlighting the improvement had taken place despite ‘a context of major international uncertainty’ largely due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Compared with the same month in 2021, the number of unemployed fell by 22.7%, or by 858,259, it said.

‘Stable, quality employment is growing, permanent contracts are increasing and women and young people are in a better situation. We are moving forward with equal opportunities and social justice,’ tweeted Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

The change came about due to a significant increase in jobs, many with permanent contracts, with 730,427 signed in May, the highest monthly figure ever recorded.

Unemployment has notably dropped among the under 25 age group, falling by 9.9%, and to a lesser extent among women, down 2.65%.

These results come after Sanchez’s left-wing government approved a flagship labour reform aimed at reducing insecurity in Spain’s labour market, which has the highest number of temporary contracts in Europe. ALSO READ: Permanent job contracts reach record high in Spain, following labour reform.

The new text amends legislation originally passed in 2012 by the right-wing People’s Party (PP) in a bid to revive the economy following the 2008 global financial crisis.

The reform limits the back-to-back use of temporary contracts and makes permanent contracts the rule rather than the exception. It also limits the use of subcontractors.

Spain was one of the worst-hit countries by the economic fallout of the pandemic, with its GDP collapsing by 10.8% in 2020, largely due to its heavy dependence on tourism.

Some half a million people lost their jobs in 2020 in Spain, which has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the OECD.

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