Spain: Unemployment rate rises in Q1 on partial Covid-19 effect
The jobless rate rose from 13.8% in the final quarter of 2019 to 14.4% in the first quarter as a result of the lockdown measures put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. Although the figure came in below expectations, it is worth noting that it does not fully capture the effects of the pandemic as most of the household surveys had already been conducted before the lockdown was imposed on 14 March. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed workers stood at 3.31 million, above the 3.19 million recorded in the previous quarter.
Employment losses were centered in the services sector as it shed 275,900 jobs, followed by the agricultural (-9,100) and construction sectors (-6,200). With 5,600 jobs added in the industrial sector, this brings to a net total of 285,600 jobs lost in the first quarter, which stands in sharp contrast to the more than 900,000 jobs were lost in the last two weeks of March alone according to social security records. Meanwhile, temporary and permanent jobs were down 255,300 and 30,700 in Q1, respectively. For its part, the total workforce declined by 164,600 people in Q1 to a total of 23.0 million.