Spanish unemployment jumps to 15.33% after destroying a million jobs

Between April and June, the number of unemployed people in Spain increased by 55,000, to 3,368 million. 

The occupation figures were worse: more than a million jobs were destroyed, an unpublished record. And the number of hours worked sank to a historic 22.59 per cent.

The unemployment rate jumped to the highest number in two years in the second quarter of 2020 after the number of unemployed people increased by 55,000 between April and June, to 3,368 million, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) published this Tuesday.

According to the methodology of both Eurostat and the International Labour Organization, the people included in ERTE are considered employed. As collected by official figures, of the 3.4 million people affected by these files, 2.2 million have already returned to normal activity, at a rate that in June was 36,000 people a day.

The increase in unemployment is lower than that forecast by some organizations, such as the Bank of Spain, which warned that the unemployment rate could have reached 20 per cent last quarter, which would have meant a figure of unemployed above FOUR million. Finally, the increase in the unemployment rate has been just under the one per cent point: the percentage of unemployed at the end of the first quarter of the year stood at 14.41 per cent.

Compared to the same period last year, the unemployment rate increased by 1.3 points. But the occupancy figures are worse- historically bad. The impact of COVID-19 and the measures to contain the spread of the pandemic caused the number of people employed in the second quarter of the year to decrease by 1,074 million, a historical record, representing a drop of 5.4 per cent quarterly.

With this, between April and June, according to the Labour Force Survey, there were 18,607 million employed, the lowest figure since 2017. At the worst moment for employment in the previous crisis, the first quarter of 2009, the destruction of jobs was around 800,000. COVID-19 has broken the previous record.

The most relevant impact was suffered by the services sector, with 816,900 fewer employees between the first quarter and the second; followed by industry, which lost 127,000 employees; while construction lost 108,700 jobs; and agriculture, 21,400.

The fall in employment in the second quarter was concentrated in workers with temporary contracts. The decrease in employment, moreover, affected women more than men. In the second quarter, the number of employed women decreased by 6.06 per cent, compared to a decrease of 4.95 per cent for men.

In addition, by age group, the unemployment rate for those under 25 stands at 39.61 per cent, whilst unemployment for workers aged 25 and over, in the same period, has gone 13.81 per cent.

Telecommuting, however, is on the increase. The Labour Force Survey shows that between April and June, 16.20 per cent of the employed, just over three million, worked from their own home more than half of the days, compared to 4.81 per cent observed in the year 2019.

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