Unemployment in Spain fell by 63,200 in March, confounding expectations and providing a fillip for the government ahead of this year’s regional and national elections. The seasonally adjusted figures point to the highest single month reduction in joblessness since 2002.
In further positive news, Spanish consumer sentiment has broken through the 100 point barrier for the first time in history.
The March reading of 100.4 is up from a reading of 99.0 in March, further evidence that Spanish consumers are using the drop in oil process to boost consumer spending.
The overall economic outlook is no doubt also has a bearing, with the improved sentiment in line with a swathe of data released so far this year indicating the economy is firmly in recovery mode.
The number of unemployed now stands at 4.451 million, down 323,927 in the past twelve months. The jobless rate fell in 15 of the 16 autonomous regions in the country, with only the Basque Country recording a slight increase (510).
There was a fall in unemployment across all sectors of the economy, albeit the largest-the services sector- still remains extremely high with over 2.8 million people unable to find work.
Domestic demand has been recovering in recent times, but while the unemployment figures for Spain’s largest area of employment are now well below the levels seen at the peak of the crisis in 2013, the number of unemployed remains 300,000 higher than in the same period in 2011.