Spain’s unemployment takes a breathe in the best May since 1996


President Mariano Rajoy warned about May unemployment data: “Figures are going to be encouraging.” The last leaks pointed out that numbers could show a decrease much stronger than the 50,000 people estimated by market analysts. Both Rajoy and the rumours were right, and Spain has woken up with 98,265 less unemployed people.

The drop in jobless Spaniards registered in the public employment services offices during the month of May stands at 1,97% compared to April, being the best number in May since the unemployment data started to be recorded in 1996.

This fall is the third in a row after the ones in March and April, so that the number of unemployed people in Spain has been reduced to a still staggering 4,890,928.

May is a month in which unemployment usually decreases because of the closeness to the summer temporary contracts season, and within the historical series it is recorded just one rise, the one of May 2008, when the unemployment increased at around 15,000 people. In the same month last year, unemployment figures fell by 30,113, which means that the current year’s drop has tripled 2012’s.

In a note from Banc Sabadell, experts said today that “figures support a possible stop in the pace of employment deterioration, which we expect to continue  in the second half of the year.” On the other hand, José Carlos Díez, chief economist at Intermoney, stated via his twitter account that “they are unqualified successful data, but it is also important not to ignore the tendency, and this is not good. We still have two hard years ahead… It is a fresh breeze after very hard months, but it must be taken prudently,” Diez insisted.

Spaniards have also given their opinion about the news in surveys carried out by the national media. For instance, according to an Europa Press consultation, at around midday, 76.47% of participants did not believe that the unemployment fall is encouraging enough, because it is impossible to create stable jobs in a recession. Only 23.53% of citizens that voted in the survey think that reforms begin to give now clear results.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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