Spain continued to shed jobs in the first quarter of 2014 despite signs of economic recovery. The pace of job destruction was slower, however.
Figures released on Tuesday by the National Statistics Office (INE) show that the number of those in work fell by 184,600 individuals in the first quarter to 16,950,600, which is one of the lowest employment figures in Spain since 2002.
The jobless rate in March reached 25.93%, 0.2% higher than at the end of 2013. This rise has occurred despite a slight drop in the number of jobless (2,300), which is due solely to the fact that people have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer seeking employment. In one year, the labor force has shrunk by 424,500 people.
The 5,933,300 people out of a job, the INE notes, represent the first drop in the jobless rate in a first quarter since 2005.
It bears noting, however, that the Easter holidays fell in March this year, pushing up temporary employment in the tourism sector.
Broken down by sectors, there was some job creation in agriculture while services, construction and industry went down.
Job destruction continued to focus on full-time employees, 176,800 of whom lost their jobs, while 7,800 part-time workers were also laid off.
Households where all members are out of a job rose by 53,100 in the first quarter, up 2.7% from the three previous months.