The number of registered unemployed is creeping closer to 5 million following an extra 38,769 job losses during March, slightly higher than the increase of 34,406 in the same month in 2011.
The total figure for people registered at the offices of public employment stands at 4.75 million at the end of March, an increase of 0.82% compared to the previous month, according to figures announced on Monday by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. The official number of people registered unemployed is 4,750,867.
Compared to the same time last year unemployment is up by 9.6%, an increase of 417,198, and is the highest single increase since records began in 1996. The previous highest figure for March was in 2009 when 123,543 people registered as unemployed.
March is the eighth straight month in which unemployment figures have risen and also the represents the largest monthly increase of those eight months.
Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, used the figures to justify the recent labour reforms stressing that the current situation was “unsatisfactory” and that the reforms introduced a framework of “trust and flexibility” for businesses. I’m not sure what it introduced for workers though! Not much, in my opinion.
The new figures suggest women are finding it harder to find or retain employment with an increase of 20,251, compared to the increase for men of 18,518. The same is true overall with the total number of unemployed women at 2,379,085 compared to the total for men which is 2,371,782
It’s not bad news for everybody though. In March 1,026,858 people found a new job and of those, 98,485 were permanent contracts, although the figure is 11.4% lower than the same time last year.