Unemployment falling – or is it just seasonal work?
June 4, 2012
According to figures released by the Labour Ministry unemployment in Spain fell by 0.63% in May compared to the previous month.
However, compared to the same time in 2011 unemployment increased by 12.5%, or 524,463.
The figures also suggest that youth unemployment decreased 2.3% in May representing 10,429 young people returning to work. Youth unemployment, people aged between 18 and 24, has been the subject of embarrassment for Spain with over 50% looking for work.
However, although the figures are encouraging we must not forget that Spain has a huge seasonal-work sector. As the sun comes out and the tourists touch down all the bars, restaurants and nightclubs begin increasing their staff to handle the onslaught of fun seekers descending on them throughout the summer.
Those jobs, however, are usually only temporary – from June to September – and once the summer is over these workers will rejoin the jobless.
According to figures from the European Union Spain currently has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 24.3%.
“We find ourselves in a second phase of recession, which, even if it is not as brutal and deep as the first, has had a negative impact on employment,” said Engracia Hidalgo, the Spanish junior labour minister.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been forced to pass billions of euros of spending cuts and tax increases as part of efforts to reduce the country’s debt levels. Some analysts believe these have had a negative impact on employment, and the economy.