Spain: Economy Creates More Than 500,000 Jobs, Unemployment Drops By 600,000


The Spanish economy created 521,700 jobs year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, and unemployment fell by 589,100, according to the figures from the Labour Force Survey (Spanish acronym: EPA) published by the National Statistics Institute (Spanish acronym: INE).

The rise in the number of workers over the last year stands at 2.82%, which means that almost all economic growth translates into new jobs. The barrier of 19 million people in work has been hit for the first time in eight years. Most new jobs were created in the private sector, practically all of which are full-time jobs and permanent employment contracts have grown more than temporary contracts. The total number of unemployed has fallen to 3.73 million, the lowest figure since the start of the recession, the same as the unemployment rate, which has dropped by 2.53 points in the last year to stand at 16.38% of the active population.

The new results for the job market exceed forecasts and are in line with the upward trend of the economy. According to the latest macro-economic chart, the Spanish economy will grow by a year-on-year average of 3.1% in 2017, one tenth higher than the previous estimate. Almost all of this growth is translating into job creation – 521,700 over the last year – which shows how effective the reforms are proving, the improvements in competitiveness attained and the reduction in the macro-economic imbalances. Since the lowest point for the job market during the crisis (first quarter of 2014), more than 2 million net jobs have been created and the number of unemployed has fallen by 2.5 million people since the maximum posted in the first quarter of 2013, while the unemployment rate has fallen by 11 points.

In the third quarter of this year, the number of people in work stood at 19.05 million – a figure not attained since the corresponding quarter of 2009 – following a quarter-on-quarter rise of 235,900. This rate of job growth is the highest in 12 years for the third quarter of the year. In terms of unemployment, the figure has fallen by 182,600 in the third quarter to stand at 3.73 million, the lowest figure since the fourth quarter of 2008. Unemployment fell in the services and industrial sectors, but rose in the agriculture and construction sectors. The number of people who lost their job more than one year ago fell by 114,900 while it rose by 11.400 among first-time job seekers.

Job creation over the last year mainly took place in the private sector, with 463,500 more people in work, a 2.99% year-on-year rise, compared with a rise of 58,200 people in the public sector (up 1.94%). 94.5% of the posts created were full-time jobs (up by 493,000 people), while the remaining 5.5% were part-time jobs (up 28.700 people). Employment has been created in all sectors, headed up by the services sector (up 301,700, or 57.8% of the total). In the industrial sector, this figure rose by 139,400, in construction by 47.400 and in agriculture by 33,200. Permanent employment contracts rose by 299,300, while temporary employment contracts increased by 202,700. The temporary employment rate now stands at 27.38%, 0.43% up on the figure a year ago and below the levels seen before the crisis.

The reduction in unemployment stands at 589,100 people year-on-year in the third quarter, and hence exceeds the figure of half a million fewer unemployed per annum, a rate that has been maintained each of the last four years. This fall is shared among all sectors, principally the services and construction sectors. The number of unemployed who lost their job more than a year ago has fallen by 417,500 and by 45,900 for first-time job seekers. The unemployment rate fell by 0.84% on the previous quarter to stand at 16.38%, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2008. Over the last 12 months, the number of households with all its active members out of work has fallen by 244,400, to stand at 1.19 million, while those households with all its active members in work has increased by 412,300.

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