Spain’s Social Security figures were released on Wednesday and showed that the number of people in work has reached a record 20,019,080.
Figures for April show that a further 184,577 people are contributing to the Social Security system and 86,260 fewer people are now unemployed.
Unemployment fell to 3,022,503, the lowest April number seen since 2008. Although this is good, Spain continues to have the highest unemployment level in the EU, 13.65% compared to the average EU figure of 6.2%.
Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, leader of the opposition, believes that a huge part of the improvement is due to the fact that “we have 215,000 more public jobs, which is why our unemployment figures appear to be tidier.”
The figures for April also show employment levels are higher than they were before the pandemic struck.
A staggering 698,646 permanent work contracts were signed in April, the highest monthly total since 2001. This number represents 48.188% of the total number of contracts signed, the highest recorded in any one month and just shy of 326% more than in April 2021.
The positive rise in figures spreads across all sectors, including those that were badly affected by the pandemic, particularly hotels and catering. Compared to the same time last year, employment in these areas has grown by 315,216.
There are 60,686 more people working within the health industry, 58,334 more working in scientific and technical activities and 54,901 more employed in the education sector.
Self-employment has increased by 9,100 compared to the end of April in 2021, with a huge 11,355 increase in people working within the scientific and technical professions, in the last 12 months.
All of the above figures are a good indication that the labour reform, to move towards higher employment stability, is working.
It is however important to highlight the volatility of the public sector. EPA data highlights the fact that for the first quarter of 2022, the temporary employment rate stood at 32.5%, which increases to 38.5% in the case of women.
In comparison, figures for the private sector show the temporary employment figure to be 22.1% - 21.1% for men and 22.9% for women.
In regards to the latest figures, Labour Minister, Yolanda Diaz said “The figures are spectacular and although Spain has a serious structural employment problem, we have to acknowledge when things are going well.”
“The labour law changes have altered the way people are employed in this country and that is no small thing.”