Unemployment rises in Spain

Unemployment in Spain up by 8.6% in 2007

Following a 4 year period in which unemployment dropped steadily the number of unemployed went up by 117,000 in 2007 which is 6.46% more than in 2006. According to a survey of the active population presented today by the National Institute for Statistics (INE) the total number of unemployed now stands at 1,927,600 and the rate of unemployment is now 8.6%

José Luis Caldera, the minister in charge of employment has admitted that the rise of 6.46% is not very positive. He said that annual figures were positive although figures for the last quarter of 2007 were not. He insisted that there was no cause for alarm and he attributed the rise in unemployment between October and December last year to problems in the construction industry and related services in which 72,000 jobs were lost during this period.

According to Caldera, the loss of so many jobs in this sector is directly related to problems in the US housing market which led to the loss of investment in the sector and to the drop in property sales.

Caldera highlighted the creation of 46,000 jobs in industry and agriculture in the last quarter of 2007 and placed special emphasis on annual figures for 2007.
According to the results of the survey presented today by the INE employment in service industries went up by 482,000 and 70,000 new jobs have also been created in the construction industry despite the loss of jobs in the last quarter of 2007.

Caldera also pointed out that despite the rise in unemployment last year it is still 3 points less than when PSOE took over the government. In fact since the present government came to power 3,900,000 jobs have been created.