Sugar-coating the stats: ‘effective’ unemployment rises by 2.5% in the legislature, government figures say ‘registered unemployment’ falls by 7.9%

unemployment spain

The number of people who are not working and are registered with the public employment services even though they are employed by a company stood at 643,633 people in February, a figure that doubles that recorded in December 2019 and dismantles the optimistic employment balance of the coalition Executive: without counting these people, registered unemployment fell by 7.9%; including them, it grew by 2.6%, by 89,727 people, explains the newspaper El Economista today.

The Executive faces the start of the electoral cycle with data that refutes its assessment of the evolution of unemployment in the Legislature. Particularly in the last stage, in which the labour reform has multiplied the number of fixed discontinuous contracts: indefinite contracts but which spend several periods of the year on leave from the Social Security and collecting unemployment benefits (if they are entitled to it), although they do not count as unemployed people in the strict sense of the word.

In December 2019, when PSOE and Unidas Podemos sealed their agreement to govern, the number of job seekers with an employment relationship was 301,316 people. By February 2023 the figure had shot up by 113%, to 643,633 people. The gap between registered and actual unemployment has risen from 9% to 22%.

With regard to the weight of the permanent unemployed in the EPA (Labour Force Survey in its Spanish initials), the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, states that there are 594,200 people employed under this type of contract, but only 45,500 are considered unemployed by the organisation.

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