World, Europe

Spain’s employment rate bounces back to pre-pandemic levels

For 1st time ever, Spain’s unemployment rate has gone down for 10 months in a row

Spain’s employment rate bounces back to pre-pandemic levels


Unemployment in Spain fell faster than ever before in 2021, according to newly published data that shows the country’s labor market has recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Throughout the year, around 776,500 people entered the workforce and around 782,000 came out of unemployment, according to Labor Ministry data published on Tuesday.

“Once again, the data reflects the progress of Spain’s recovery,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on social media networks.

“We will not stop. We will continue working to fight against precarity and keep creating quality employment,” Sanchez said.

Thanks to both the implementation of furlough schemes and a historic 10 straight months of net job creation, now just slightly more than 3.1 million people in Spain are unemployed.

The unemployment figure still makes up a hefty 13.5% of the country’s workforce but is down 20% from last December and the lowest real number since 2007.

Unemployment dropped most dramatically in the service sector, which was devastated by the lockdowns, restrictions and a drop in tourism.

However, the construction, industrial and agricultural sectors saw small gains in 2021 as well.

Spain’s Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz also applauded unemployment dropping among young people and women, two groups that were also hit hard in 2020.

The country has long struggled with some of Europe’s highest unemployment rates, but this recovery looks a lot different than after the 2008 financial crisis.

That year, unemployment shot up by nearly 1 million people and kept growing for five straight years. It was not until 2013 that the labor market began to recover from that crisis.

In contrast, in 2020 the pandemic drove unemployment up by nearly 725,000 people — a figure has been more than recovered within a year.

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