Spain's Unemployment Rate Is Worse Than It Was When The Crisis Began

Youth Spain

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Last Friday Spain woke up to a frightening statistic: there are nearly 5 million unemployed workers in the country.What actually happened throughout July, August and September obliterated whatever new jobs predictions that the government had published before the summer.

Yesterday, unemployment figures from the Ministry of labour confirmed that things are still getting worse.

Just as predicted, October was a horrendous month. It is normal to see a small jump in unemployment in October, because this is usually when temporary contracts from the summer tourist season come to an end. But unemployment did not skip forward, it skyrocketed by 134,182. Five million workers are now registered with the Inem.

Regardless of the fact that we saw unemployment jump by 68,213 in 2010 adn 98,906 in 2009, this year has been the worst year for joblessness in a long time. To see anything close we have to go back to 2008. Then, 192,658 people reported losing their job. Setting his campaign optimism aside for a moment, Minster of labour Valeriano G√≥mez affirmed that this figure “puts us back where we were at the beginning of the crisis.”

The difference is that now that unemployment spike is owed mostly to destruction of jobs, while three years ago many people who usually do not work applied for unemployment benefits and were picked up by National Institute of Employment (INEM following the Spanish acronym). According to the Survey of the Working Population (EPA), at that time the number of active workers increased due to threats of economic crisis, but now that number has declined due to a scarcity of available jobs.

This post originally appeared at El Economista.

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