Spain Unemployment


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.

The government expects unemployment to average 22.9% in 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect unemployment to average 23.0% in 2015, which is down 0.2 percentage points over last month’s projection. For 2016, the panel foresees an unemployment rate of 21.7%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Spain Unemployment Chart

Spain Unemployment Q4 2014

Note: Total workforce in thousands and unemployment rate as % of active population.
Source: National Statistical Institute (INE).

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