Unemployment in Spain falls for third month

Unemployment goes down by 20,794 in best July since 2004

The number of officially unemployed people went down by 20,794 (0.6%) in July compared to June which means that unemployment figures have fallen for the third consecutive month after 14 months of rising figures. It also means that July’s figures are the best since July 2004.

According to the Ministry for Work the total number of unemployed is 3,544,095. The government believes that the positive figures for July are partly down to the success of its ‘Local Investment Plan’ in the construction sector which has already created 407,390 jobs – 46% more than originally forecast – and the seasonal rise in the number of jobs.

Nevertheless, Spain’s Minister of Work, Corbacho, warned yesterday that while the figures are encouraging, it is still too early to speak of a change in tendency or to say that the economic crisis is over and that autumn’s figures were not expected to be as positive as those of the last three months.

However, he also ruled out the possibility of unemployment reaching 5 million. During the past year 1,117,179 people have become unemployed which represents an annual increase of 46%.

Unemployment went down in July more for men than women. There were 13,638 less unemployed men (-0.8%) in July compared to June while unemployment for women fell by just 7,156 (-0.4%).

Unemployment in the service sector fell by 13,885, in the construction sector unemployment fell by 7,292 and in industry unemployment fell by 6,911. On the other hand, unemployment rose by 650 in the agricultural sector.

The biggest rise in employment was in jobs related to social services and the national health system with 55,096 more people affiliated to the social security system which is 8% and 4.24% more respectively than this time last year.

The number of people working in the hotel industry also rose significantly with a rise in just one month of 3.13% although on interannual terms the number of people working in this sector of the economy has fallen by 4.32%. With regards to commerce and vehicle repairs there were 21,555 new workers which represents a monthly rise of 0.94% although on interannual terms the number of people working in these sectors has also fallen by 7.43%.

The education sector saw the biggest job losses at the end of June with 54,772 less workers in July which is a fall of 8.15% from June to July. In the construction industry there were 5,012 less jobs and in the manufacturing industry there were 5,409 less jobs which is a fall of 0.37% and 0.28% respectively.

As far as regional differences are concerned, unemployment went up in July in just four regions headed by Catalonia with 7,664 more registered unemployed and fell in 13 regions mostly in Northern Spain – Galicia (7,381 less), followed by Castilla y León (5,023 less) and Asturias (3,331 less).

A total of 1,403,023 work contracts were registered in July which is 13.7% less than for July 2008. The number of permanent contracts rose last month to 111,143 which is 7.9% of the total but 30.7% less than in July 2008.