According to figures published by the Ministry of Work and Immigration unemployment in Spain rose by 124,890 in January which is a rise of 3.1% compared to figures for December 2009. At the end of last month the official figure for the number of unemployed in Spain was 4,048,493 which is the highest figure since records began in 1996.
Although the rise in unemployment last month was less than in January 2008 when unemployment rose by 198,838, the biggest rise on record, it is the sixth consecutive rise in unemployment. Over the last twelve months unemployment has risen by 720,692 which is an overall rise of 21.6%. Out of this figure 23.1% 386,972 are men (23.1%) and 333,720 are women (20.2%).
The Secretary for Employment, Maravillas Rojo, said that January is always a ‘bad month’ for employment given that unemployment always goes up ‘even in times of economic growth’. Rojo admitted that the new figures were ‘very negative’ but that the rise in unemployment was slowing down compared to a year ago.
Nevertheless, Rojo also recognised that the number of unemployed had not reached its peak yet.
Out of the total rise in the unemployed in January 77,219 were men (+4%) and 47,671 were women (+2.3%).
Unemployment rose by 102,130 in the service sector (+4,5%) which accounts for almost 82% of the total. The second highest rise in unemployment was in the industrial sector with a rise of 8,873 (+1.7%). Unemployment in the construction sector rose by 7,036 (+0.9%). There were 6,285 more unemployed with no previous employment history (+2.2%) and 566 more unemployed in the agricultural sector (+0.5%).
A total of 1,050,233 new contracts were signed in January which is 6.7% less than January 2009. Out of this total 9% were permanent contracts (94,595)
The Secretary for Employment said that she was conscious of the fact that the current situation demanded new measures and that the government would be publishing its proposals for reforming the labour market on Friday this week.