JOB MARKET

Easter holiday helps bring down March jobless claims

Ministry figures show significant hirings in tourism sector to cope with demand

Jobless claims fell in March, confirming a larger trend in recent months.
Jobless claims fell in March, confirming a larger trend in recent months.EFE

Registered unemployment fell in March on the back of the Easter holiday, which boosted the Spanish job market.

There were 58,216 fewer jobless claims compared to February, although there are still 4,094,770 people out of a job, according to Labor Ministry figures released Monday.

Meanwhile, Social Security affiliations, a measure of job creation, grew by an average monthly figure of 138,086 new contributors to reach 17.3 million.

Tourist arrivals over the Easter holiday helped make tourism the best-performing sector last month, with 57,348 new additions to the Social Security system.

Even after adjusting for seasonal effects, the data confirms more than two years’ worth of sustained improvement in the job market

Even after adjusting for seasonal effects, the data confirms more than two years’ worth of sustained improvement in the job market: 59,161 new affiliations to Social Security and 45,456 fewer jobless claims in March.

A comparison of aggregate figures between March 2015 and March 2016 also shows a positive trend, with 432,970 new Social Security affiliations, a 2.81% rise over the course of 12 months. However, this growth is slowing down slightly, as the rate was 3.19% in January and 2.97% in February.

Part of the reason is the political uncertainty caused by the lack of a new government, and part is the fact that 2015 was an election year, which meant greater government investment in public works. In fact, the construction sector gained more than 20,000 workers ahead of the local and regional elections of May.

Outside factors affecting job creation in Spain include a slowdown in international trade and foreign investment, which negatively affected Spanish industries.

English version by Susana Urra.

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