Sunday 1/16/22
EMPLOYMENT

Spain created 776,000 jobs in 2021, but 3.1 million are still unemployed

Registered unemployment fell in December at 76,782 people compared to the previous month, reaching the lowest level reached in December since 2007
04 January 2022, Spain, Madrid: People stand outside an employment office in Madrid. Unemployment in Spain reached its lowest level in 14 years in 2021. Public Employment Service offices recorded a drop of 782,232 unemployed people (-20.1 percent) in 2021, the largest annual decline in the entire comparable historical series that began in 1996. Photo: Eduardo Parra/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
People stand outside an employment office in Madrid. Photo: Eduardo Parra/dpa.

The official employment figures in Spain confirm that the evolution of the labor market is no longer linked to the successive waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. The variant Omicron hit hard at the end of the year, but that hasn't stopped the country from continuing to create jobs.

According to the latest figures released Tuesday by the ministries of Labor and Social Security, the year 2021 ended with 776,478 more people working and contributing to Social Security, which is 4.08% more year-on-year.

The number of unemployed registered in the offices of the State Public Employment Services (SEPE, in Spanish), was reduced by 782,232 people compared to 2020. Spain thus exceeds the employment levels prior to the pandemic.

According to the newspaper El Pais, Spain did not create as much employment since 2005, during the economic boom, when the government of then Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero decided to carry out an extraordinary regularization of the immigrant population.

However, not everything is joy in relation to the Spanish job market. Despite the positive evolution, unemployment continues to be the main problem in the Spanish economy, which still has 3,105,905 unemployed people in the official unemployment lists (20.12% less than a year ago).

The country continues to be, along with Greece, the one that performs the worst in the EU terms of employment rate.

December

Registered unemployment fell in December by 76,782 people compared to the previous month, reaching the lowest level in a month of December since 2007.

Employment grew in December in all economic sectors (agriculture, industry, construction and services) and all regions ended the year with a growth in the number of contributors to Social Security.

According to experts, this massive return of Spaniards to employment in 2021 has been driven by the lifting of restrictions on economic activity, vaccination and the increase in consumption, caused by the use of savings accumulated by households during the pandemic.

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