Spain falls below three million unemployed for the first time since 2008

  • Permanent contracts continue to rise and eight out of ten employed persons are permanent

three months after Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine and almost a year after the CPI began its escalation, the Spanish labor market continues to be launched. Spain added in May its fourth consecutive month with rising employment, it was its best May in the last four years and comfortably consolidates the share of 20 million active workers. The imminent tourist season blows in favor and the rest of the uncertainties do not slow down, for now, the progress of the Spanish labor market, according to data published this Thursday by the Ministries of Social Security and Labor. What has allowed that, due to wear and tear and after several months of ‘green numbers’, the unemployment has dropped below three million people. Something that hasn’t happened since 2008when the brick crisis broke out.

Despite the fact that international organizations and the Government itself have had to lower their growth forecasts for the GDP due to the unexpectedly long inflation and the war in Ukraine, for the moment this lowering of expectations is not reflected in the employment data. The question remains as to whether said reduction will arrive late – it would not be the first time that hiring is one step behind – or it simply will not arrive and the resilience of the Spanish labor market will withstand the downpour.

At the moment, what the statistics show is that this May closed with almost 100,000 fewer people registered with the SEPE, leaving the total number of unemployed at 2.92 million people. It is a very high figure, one of the highest in the entire European Union, but symbolically it has managed to break the threshold of three million unemployed. We must go back to the outbreak of the housing bubble and the collapse of Lehman Brothers to find a date on which there would not be an even number of unemployed in Spain.

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The road has been long, because from that social and economic catastrophe, unemployment went on and on while the protests and the closure of companies resonated, until reaching in 2013 the five million unemployed in all Spain. It has taken 12 years to recover, showing that the Spanish labor market is much more efficient in rehiring people who alternate months of unemployment and employment or attracting workers from abroad than recovering a significant number of people who lost their jobs 12 years ago and since then he has not been able to return to work.

However, this milestone of falling below three million unemployed hides a certain unfavorable bias towards women. Well, unemployment has dropped substantially more among men than among women and although men have returned to 2008 levels, women are still in 2009.

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