UNEMPLOYMENT

Jobless claims rise in September after end of summer tourism season

The increase in the month was the lowest since 2007 Rajoy hails best figure for years

Jobless claims in Spain rose again in September, breaking a six-month downward trend, but the increase was lower than in previous years.

According to figures released Wednesday by the Labor Ministry, the number of people officially registered as unemployed rose by 25,572 to 4.724 million, the least pronounced upward turn for the month since 2007. In September of last year jobless claims climbed by 79,645. Unemployment normally increases in the month as temporary hiring for the main tourist season lapses.

Compared with a year earlier, claims fell by 124,368, the biggest such decrease since 2006. The ministry highlighted the fact that in deseasonalized terms, jobless claims actually declined by 35,631 to 4.834 million, which it said was the best performance for the month on record.

In deseasonalized terms, jobless claims actually declined by 35,631

The number of people affiliated with the Social Security system declined by 22,242 to 16.305 million. But, again, in deseasonalized terms, these also rose for the first time since 2007. The number of work contracts also increased.

“With the summer season over, the jobless, affiliation and hiring figures in September are better than those in previous years and show a certain slowdown in the process of job destruction,” the Confederation of Spanish Business Organizations (CEOE), the country’s largest employer group, said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy overnight had flagged what he described as “the best figure for this month in years.” Speaking in Japan during an official visits the Popular Party leader accepted that the improvement was insufficient. “We have to create jobs and do so in a solid way,” Europa Press quoted him as saying. “The trend is changing. This should encourage us to work hard.”

However, the apparent improvement in the labor market was largely owing to the more precarious forms of employment. The number of permanent contracts awarded in September was down 9 percent from a year earlier and accounted for only 7.7 percent of the total number of contracts. The number of temporary contracts climbed 11 percent. There was also an increase in part-time contracts.

According to the National Statistics Institute’s (INE) Active Population Survey (EPA), the jobless rate in the second quarter was 26.3 percent, with just under six million people out of work. The EPA is considered to be a better gauge of the job market as it includes people looking for work who are not registered as unemployed because they are not entitled to benefits.

Jobless claims fell in construction, agriculture and industry, but the falls were more than offset by a rise in the services sector of 51,985.

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