Spain: Unemployment eases in the second quarter
July 29, 2011
In the second quarter, the unemployment rate dropped to 20.9% (4.8 million people), which was down from the 14-year high of 21.3% recorded in the first quarter. The decline mainly reflects the beginning of the summer season, which brings with it a temporary spike in tourism sector employment. Despite the drop, unemployment remains above the 20.1% registered in the same period last year. According to the survey, the economy generated 151,400 jobs, reflecting a notable increase of jobs amongst women. Job creation in services and industry compensated for the slack in the construction and agricultural sector, thus driving the level of unemployment down. Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado stated on 29 July that the second quarter result marked the first notable improvement since 2007, and expects a positive change in the unemployment trend as the improvement in the industrial sector is not dependent on seasonal factors.