Spain´s Unemployment Lowest Since 2007 But Still Highest In EU

Unemployment in Spain has reached its lowest level since 2007, having fallen by 130,000 people (4.59%) since a year ago (December 2022).

According to the government´s figures there are 2,707,456 people of working age in Spain without a job. Nearly 300,000 of whom are in the Madrid region.

Madrid has the lowest level in Spain while Catalonia, Valencia and La Rioja were the only three regions that saw an increase in unemployment between November and December 2023.

Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz tweeted that young people and women are those “who are benefitting the most from employment policies”.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that “Spain has created more than half a million jobs in 2023 and there are already almost 21 million affiliated to social security. Less youth unemployment, record female employment and more permanent contracts. It is possible to grow, create jobs and advance rights.”

Spain´s youth unemployment 1996 – 2023

However, the good news is only relative in a Spanish context. In terms of an international one, Spain continues to have the worst figures of any European country, indeed it has had the highest level of unemployment for decades.

Although there are over 20.8 million people employed and affiliated with Spanish Social Security the figures still mean that Spain leads the pack for the worst figures in Europe.

Among G20 countries only South Africa has higher unemployment.

According to figures by the EU´s Eurostat, Spain´s 13% unemployment rate is over double the 6% average of the block with only Greece close by on 11%.

Italy is 8% France is 7% and Germany is just 3%. Despite the upheaval of Brexit the UK´s job market remains healthy with barely 4% of the workforce looking for a job.

4% is the threshold of what economists consider full employment.

Spain is also the country in the EU with the highest youth unemployment with over 27% of the under 25s without a job.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has set the goal for Spain to reach an 8% unemployment rate, and hopes that economic growth fuelled in part by the EU´s Next Generation fund will help this be achieved within a decade.


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