There was good news and bad for the Spanish job market last month. Unemployment rose slightly, albeit by just 2,231 people, leaving the total number of jobless in the country at 4,152,986.
At the same time, the number of people signed up with the Social Security system saw a rise of 63,355, bringing the total of registered workers up to 17,167,712, according to data released by the Labor Ministry on Wednesday morning.
When seasonal factors are accounted for, both of the figures are positive. Employment, measured by Social Security affiliations, rises by 32,492 workers, while registered unemployment falls by 13,538 people.
February saw growth in practically all sectors, in particular hostelry, up by 21,197 workers; construction, +20,584; education, +17,172; and manufacturing, +14,342.
When seasonal factors are accounted for, both the unemployment and Social Security figures are positive
However, the agricultural sector saw a fall of 28,902 workers in February (-3.65%), leaving a total of 762,762 registered. The ranks of the self-employed, meanwhile, went up by 3,593 workers, to leave a total of 3,153,066.
The number of Social Security affiliates rose in most of Spain’s regions in February. The biggest increases were in Catalonia (+22,134), the Balearic Islands (+12,032), the Madrid region (+11,884), Murcia (+4,758) and Galicia (+4,654). Andalusia, meanwhile, saw a fall of 7,509 registered workers.
But when compared with 2015 the positive figures look slightly worse. February was a good month for the labor market in 2015 – unemployment fell by nearly 14,000 people while the number of workers signed up with the Social Security system grew by nearly 100,000.
English version by Simon Hunter.