Unemployment rises in August with more than 134,000 jobs lost

Figure bucks recent upward trend, but overall picture shows a drop in joblessness

An unemployment office in Madrid.
An unemployment office in Madrid.EFE

August is typically a bad month for jobs in Spain, and this year was no exception.

Unemployment rose by 21,679 individuals, while Social Security affiliation fell by 134,289 people.

These figures buck the upward trend seen in the stricken Spanish job market in recent quarters.

The long-term unemployed in Spain are still not benefiting from the effects of the incipient recovery

However, taking the last 12 months into account, the overall picture is one of strong growth, with unemployment dropping notably and contributions to the welfare system rising considerably.

The government is playing down the August figure by underscoring that in the previous eight years – coinciding with Spain’s economic crisis – the economy shed an average of more than 50,500 jobs during the same period.

Also, seasonally adjusted figures show that unemployment actually fell by 5,286 people in August.

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Broken down by regions, Galicia recorded the biggest drop in unemployment (-2,639 people), followed by the Canary Islands (-1,257) and Asturias (-1,057). But joblessness rose in the Valencia region (7,614) and Catalonia (4,521).

After a protracted crisis, the Spanish economy has started to expand again on the back of consumer spending. Both Brussels and the International Monetary Fund are expecting significant growth this year, but the jobs market has yet to recover from years of massive destruction.

The long-term unemployed in Spain are still not benefiting from the effects of the incipient recovery. According to the latest figures from the labor force review Active Population Survey (EPA), there are 1.2 million Spanish workers who have not had a job in the last four years or more.

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