Spain: Unemployment rate unexpectedly falls in Q4 2020
The jobless rate declined from 16.3% in Q3 2020 to 16.1% in the final quarter of 2020. The figure surprised market analysts, whom had expected it to rise, and marked the first decline in three consecutive quarters of increase. That said, the print still masks the full extent of the crisis by not counting those under temporary furlough schemes as effectively unemployed. For the year as a whole, the average unemployment rate jumped to a three-year high of 15.5% in 2020 from 14.1% in 2019. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed workers stood at 3.72 million in Q4, matching that of Q3.
Despite the second wave of Covid-19 infections, jobs were created across all sectors of the economy in Q4. The services segment added the most jobs (+79,600), followed by the agriculture (+51,000), construction (+30,900) and industrial (+5,900) sectors. Overall, a total of 167,400 jobs were gained from the prior quarter. Meanwhile, temporary and permanent jobs were up 107,200 and 26,300 in Q4, respectively. For its part, the workforce rose by 164,300 people in Q4 to a total of 23.1 million.