Unemployment rose by 70,900 people between January and March, up almost 2.3% from the previous quarter, while employment fell by 100,200 jobs (-0.5%). This is the smallest decline in a first quarter since 2019, when 93,400 jobs were destroyed. At end-March, the total number of unemployed people stood at 3,174,700 and the number of employed at 20,084,700, the National Statistics Institute (INE) reported on Thursday.
The increase in unemployment in the first quarter of this year contrasts with the fall of 65,800 unemployed recorded in the same period of 2021. In the first three months of 2020, when the Covid pandemic hit, unemployment rose by 121,000 people, more than it did in the first quarter of this year.
The unemployment rate rebounded by three tenths of a percentage point in the first quarter to 13.65%. Meanwhile, the participation rate fell by just over a tenth of a percentage point to 58.5%, after the number of active people fell by 29,400 between January and March (-0.1%).
On the inflation front, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 0.1% in April compared to the previous month and cut its year-on-year rate by 1.4 points to 8.4%, due to lower electricity and petrol prices, according to advanced data published on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).