INE: Unemployment Falls By 216,700 To 20% In Q2

29 July 2016 – Cinco Días

The number of people employed in Spain rose by 271,400 during Q2, up by 1.51%, according to the Labour Force Survey (EPA), published by INE yesterday. In terms of the creation of employment, it was the weakest second quarter since 2013 (411,800 more people were employed during the same quarter in 2015, and 402,400 more in Q2 2014). In seasonality-adjusted terms, the QoQ variation amounted to 0.29%, the lowest figure in the second quarter since 2013.

In terms of unemployment, the number of people on the dole decreased by 216,700 during the second quarter of the year to 4,574,700, down by 4.5%. The unemployment rate now stands at 20%, one point below its level in the previous quarter. In addition, that figure represents the lowest level since Q3 2010, when the rate stood at 19.59%. The unemployment rate also saw its lowest decrease in Q2 since 2012: during the second quarter of 2015, unemployment decreased by 295,600, in Q2 2014, it fell by 301,400 and in Q2 2013, it dropped by 230,900. During the second quarter of 2012, unemployment fell by 63,100. In seasonality-adjusted terms, the QoQ variation amounted to -1.90%.

Employment increased this quarter in: services (227,300 more), construction (45,600) and industry (15,700), and decreased in agriculture (17,200 less). In the last year, employment has increased in: services (439,100 more) and agriculture (19,800), but has fallen in construction (15,700 less) and industry (8,800).

By autonomous region, the highest increases in employment during the quarter were seen in the regions that receive lots of tourists, such as the Balearic Islands (56,000 more people were employed), Cataluña (53,700) and Murcia (28,400). The number of employed people decreased in the Canary Islands (11,900 less) and Navarra (4,200).

Quality of employment

The total number of wage earners increased by 252,700 during the second quarter (and by 425,500 with respect to the previous year), of which 86,400 signed permanent contracts and 166,300 signed temporary contracts. The temporary rate rose by 68 hundredths to 25.72%.

The number of self-employed workers rose by 15,700.

The number of full time workers increased by 301,100 and the number of part-time workers decreased by 29,300.

Households with every member unemployed

The number of households where all of the members are unemployed decreased by 117,100 during the second quarter of 2016, to 1,493,800, of which 361,000 were single-occupancy households.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the number of households where all of the active members are employed rose by 151,800 to 9,662,200, of which 1,833,400 were single-occupancy households.

Original story: Cinco Días (by C. Castelló)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bank Of Spain: Unemployment May Drop To 20% By Q4 2016

18 August 2015 – El Economista

The Governor of the Bank of Spain, Luis María Linde, believes that the unemployment rate may decrease to around 20% by the end of 2016, if the trend observed over the last 18 months continues.

That was the prediction he made today (Tuesday) during his appearance before the Congressional Budget Committee, where he gave an update on the progress of the draft bill for the General State Budget (‘Presupuestos Generales del Estado’ or PGE) for 2016.

According to Linde “the greater flexibility that companies now have to adjust their workforces, to reflect changing macro-economic and competitive environments, has enabled the creation of new jobs”.

“If the trend observed over the last year and a half continues, then the increase in employment may bring the rate of unemployment down to 20% by the fourth quarter of 2016”, he added. According to the Government’s forecasts, the unemployment rate should fall to 19.7% by the end of next year.

Temporary contracts remain stable

Moreover, he rejected accusations from the opposition party that the labour reform passed in 2012 has lead to an increase in job insecurity, stating that the proportion of permanent and temporary contracts over the total is practically the same as it was four or five years ago. (…).

Approval of the Government’s forecasts

Linde thinks that the forecasts made by the Government in its draft bill for the PGE for 2016 are “feasible”, even though they differ from those published by the supervisory body itself.

The Government has indicated that the macroeconomic projections in the accounts for next year reflect a “prolongation of the current phase of expansion”, which is “feasible, in the current context”.

Specifically, Mariano Rajoy’s Government believes that the economy will grow by 3.3% this year and by 3% next year, with a recovery in inflation of around 1.1%, which will take the nominal GDP rate to 4%.

The Greek rescue “will bring stability”

The Governor of the Bank of Spain said that the third Greek rescue plan is the most “complex and demanding” of those agreed hitherto between Greece, the European authorities and the IMF, but he believes that its implementation will only serve to strengthen the euro zone and stability in the region. (…).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Number Of People Out Of Work Fell By 13,528 In February

4 March 2015 – El Mundo

The construction and industrial sectors were the main drivers behind job creation, once again.

The labour market offered a breath of fresh air yesterday, after starting the year on a bad note. The number of people out of work decreased by 13,538 in February, the largest drop in this month for 14 years; and the number of people registered with Social Security increased by 96,909, the best figure in this month since 2007, according to the Ministry for Employment. The construction and industrial sectors were the main drivers behind job creation.

Traditionally, February tends to be a strange month for employment, with highs and lows, and since 2008, when we began to feel the first effects of the crisis, unemployment has always increased in this month, except for last year when the figures decreased by 1,949 people. This year, the number of unemployed people decreased by 13,538 in February. Despite this decrease, the number of people out of work in Spain is still worryingly high, with more than 4,512,123 people registered with the Public Employment Services (formerly Inem). This figure is even higher than the one Mariano Rajoy inherited when he arrived at La Moncloa for the first time.

By sector, unemployment increased in the agriculture sector only in February (by 467 people), whilst it decreased in construction (10,091), industry (6,535) and the service sector (233).

In light of this data, the Government is optimistic and confident that it will achieve its objective of creating three million new jobs by 2019. Currently, the total number of people in paid work amounts to 16,672,222.

The increase of almost 100,000 new taxpayers in February partly offset the significant decrease in the number of jobs in January, when the number of taxpayers decreased by 200,000, following the end of the Christmas season.

By sector, construction – one of the hardest hit by the crisis – was where the most jobs were created (26,968), together with industry (15,097). Meanwhile, the service sector registered 61,842 more taxpayers, thanks to boosts from education (16,203) and hospitality (14,012).

However, the resurgence in the construction sector concerns the opposition party and the trade unions. The PSOE’s (Shadow) Secretary of State for Employment, Luz Rodríguez, says “the return to property could mean that we exit the crisis through the same door that we entered it”.

In terms of the number of contracts, 1,226,950 contracts were registered in February, up 12.5% compared with the same month last year. Nevertheless, the majority (more than 90%) were still temporary. Only 120,181 contracts were permanent, equivalent to 9.8% of the total number. Nevertheless, the Ministry for Employment highlighted that these figures are 23% higher than in January last year.

In terms of the number of hours worked, 71,754 of the permanent contracts were for full-time positions (16,804 more than in the previous year, an increase of 30.58%) and 48,527 were part-time (5,673 more than in February 2014, an increase of 13.24%).

However, these figures are not good enough for the trade unions UGT and CCOO, which report that the jobs that are being created are “precarious” and “low quality” and that the wages are “clearly insufficient”. Moreover, they point out that the inequalities between men and women are increasing and that young people are being left behind. Thus, whilst the unemployment rate decreased for men in February (with 19,587 fewer unemployed men than in January), they increased for women (with 6,319 more unemployed women), taking the total number of unemployed men and women to 2,117,980 and 2,394,173, respectively.

Furthermore, the number of unemployed young people under the aged of 25 increased by 2,569, and the number of foreign unemployed people increased by 3,030. In the opinion of the USO trade union, these figures show that “the recovery in terms of unemployment is not on the right track”.

By autonomous region, Madrid was the community where unemployment increased the most in the month of February, by 2,411 people to be exact; followed by Andalucía, with 2,121 more unemployed people and Castilla-La Mancha with 139. Meanwhile, unemployment decreased in 14 autonomous communities.

In terms of the coverage rate, i.e. the percentage of unemployed people that receive benefits or allowances, it continued to decrease in an alarming way.

During the month of January – the latest month for which data is available – it amounted to 56.49%, i.e. five points lower than in the same month in 2013. This means that almost one in every two unemployed people registered with the former Inem, does not receive any kind of financial aid. Moreover, total spending on benefits amounted to €1,962 million in January, which represented a 17.7% decrease compared with the same month last year.

Original story: El Mundo (by Isabel Munera)

Translation: Carmel Drake