Unemployment, employment and propaganda: November unemployment up 90,000 – not down 24,500 – counting 114,000 “fixed discontinuous workers who stopped working”

Spain has highest proportion of contracts of 6 months or less

Unemployment fell in Spain by 24,573 people in November, in what has been the second largest fall in unemployment for this month excluding the pandemic, but this evolution is distorted because, after the labour reform, all workers with fixed discontinuous contracts who go into inactivity and even begin to collect a benefit, are not counted as unemployed. As the newspaper El Mundo explains, in November, a total of 114,000 people became unemployed but are not counted as such, meaning that unemployment would have risen by 90,000 people if they had been taken into account.

This is clear from the affiliation and unemployment data published yesterday by the Ministries of Social Security and Labour, according to which, although 115,500 salaried jobs were destroyed in the hotel and catering industry due to the end of the tourist season, these were not counted in the unemployment figures. The reason for this is that they were all discontinuous permanent workers.

Since the data on registered unemployment are, for this reason, unreliable, it is worth looking at the data on affiliation. These show that employment in the country fell in November by 11,583 people, a much smaller decline than has traditionally been recorded in this month (of 23,219 jobs between 2014 and 2019), reflecting the fact that the labour market is slowing down in the face of economic uncertainty but is still growing.

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