The figures released by Spain’s Labor Force Survey (Spanish acronym: EPA) for the fourth quarter of 2015 show that the economic recovery is having a strong effect on the labor market, the Spanish government said. According to data released by the Spanish National Statistics Institute (Spanish acronym: INE), unemployment fell by 678,200 last year – the largest annual drop since EPA records began.
The unemployment rate now stands at 20.9%, representing a decrease of 2.81 points in 12 months and the lowest rate since the second quarter of 2011. In turn, employment rose by 525,100 at a year-on-year rate of 2.99% to an average of 18,094,200 people in work in the fourth quarter of 2015. Jobs were created in all sectors of the economy in the last year.
According to the Spanish government, the strength of the economic recovery in Spain, with a year-on-year GDP growth rate of over 3%, is enabling the labor market to show its dynamic nature once again. The reduction in unemployment of 678,200 exceeds the end-of-year forecasts made by the government and shows that the recovery is helping to ease the still high level of unemployment. The unemployment rate has fallen almost three points in the last 12 months to 20.9%. The number of unemployed who lost their job over a year ago has fallen by 425,400 and the number of first-time job-seekers has fallen by 91,700. When compared with the third quarter, unemployment has fallen by 71,300 to stand at 4,779,500.
In turn, employment rose in the fourth quarter of 2015 at a year-on-year rate of 2.99%, with over 525,000 net jobs created. The employment increase is balanced, with positive results from all sectors of the economy and an increase in permanent employment contracts. The number of people in work rose by 45,500 in the fourth quarter, an increase of 0.25% on the previous quarter. All the paid jobs created in the last quarter of the year were subject to indefinite employment contracts (up 103,400), while the number of temporary contracts fell by 63,600. The temporary employment rate is down almost one half of one point to 25.66%.
The greatest job creation in year-on-year terms took place in the private sector, with an increase of 452,000 jobs. A total of 73,100 jobs were created in the public sector. Jobs are being created in all sectors of the economy. There are 421,500 more workers in the services sector; 50,800 more in the agriculture sector; 28,100 more in the construction sector; and 24,600 more in the industrial sector. Over 95% of the jobs created in the Spanish economy in 2015 are full-time (501,700). Furthermore, of all the paid jobs created in the last year (505,700), two-thirds are subject to temporary employment contracts and one-third to permanent employment contracts.
The number of households where all active members are unemployed fell in the fourth quarter by 16,300 to a total of 1.56 million. In turn, the number of households where all active members are in employment rose by 64,400 to 9.5 million.