Spain: Unemployment stabilizes in Q4
January 22, 2015
The unemployment rate in Q4 was stable at Q3’s 23.7%, which represented the lowest rate since Q4 2011. The print undershot the 23.9% rate that FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists had expected. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed came in at 5.46 million people in Q4, which was virtually unchanged over the 5.43 million recorded in the previous period.
The largest increase in employment was recorded in the agriculture sector, which added 62,800 jobs. The number of jobs in industry (+11,700) and construction (+7,800) also improved, whereas the services sector lost 17,200 jobs. The country’s workforce increased by 95,100 people in Q4 to 23.0 million. The print contrasted Q3, when the workforce dropped by 44,200 people.
Despite the improvement, unemployment remains astonishingly high and continues to impact the economy, putting a drag on private consumption. The ongoing tough labor market situation also translates into reduced revenues in the government’s coffers.