LABOR DATA

Spain’s jobless figures drop for the fifth straight month

Doubts remain whether trend will continue after summer season.

Job figures for July show that the number of people out of work dropped for the fifth straight month in a row, with 64,866 fewer names on the unemployment rolls and 32,890 more workers registered with social security, the Labor Ministry said Friday.

Not since 2007 have the unemployment figures dropped for a similar consecutive period. But the number of new social security affiliations is the second worst figure since the crisis began in 2008.

Compared with June, jobless numbers dropped 1.36 percent in one month with the number of unemployed now standing at 4,698,814.

However, it is still unclear whether this trend will continue after the high tourist season ends in September. Seasonal jobs make up most of the positive data, with more hirings in the service and construction industries.

The ruling Popular Party (PP) was the first to praise the latest figures by issuing a statement in Congress saying that the policies of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy were working.

But Spain’s largest unions, CCOO and UGT, cautioned that jobs were only being created through temporary and short-term contracts. In Madrid, the UGT representative said that despite the “positive” figures, the “hard reality” in the capital is that there are nearly 20,000 more unemployed people compared to the same period the year before.

Soraya Rodríguez, the Socialist spokeswoman in Congress, also welcomed the latest data but said that it included “very worrisome elements,” such as the number of new social security affiliates, which she called “one of the worst” in recent years.

In the service industry, the jobless numbers dropped by 37,614, or -1.27 percent, while in the construction sector, the reduction was 17,310 or -2.45 percent compared with the same period the year before.

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