The gap against the high records of 2008 is still far from being filled, but it seems that unemployment trend in Spain, although still painfully high, has changed direction.
Details are not reasons for a definitive optimism, but they suggest improvement instead of previous stagnation. The official optimism has always walked ahead data, but on this ocassion these help to it.
The increase of almost 200,000 social security contributors- 50,000 on a seasonally adjusted rate- is one of the best figures in recent history, pointing to a 2Q’s Labour Force Survey much better than the one before: 25,000,000 contributors, almost 500,000 over the lowest record in February 2013, but 2.7 million under registrations at the beginning of the crisis.
This is the path ahead. Regarding the jobless people registering in the employment offices, which is a less important number for the analysis, though trending, the results are similar to those of social security: an overwhelming data of 4.75 million of unemployed at the end of May and a decrease against the worst figure of last year February. On a year-on-year basis, unemployment records 320,000 people, the best figure since mid of 2008.
Finally, May’s figures mean 2 million people more regarding the unemployment floor of 2007, even twice than that. The debate now is to discern if the recovery has the profile of that of 2011 or is more consistent. Nobody knows. There are unpredictable external and internal factors making the solution difficult.