Spain is seeing record employment rates, although unemployment is rising

Spain ended the third quarter of this year with a new record employment rate of 21.3 million people, despite an overall increase in unemployment, as the number of young people remains well above the allowable ceiling by EU standards, according to a report by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

According to the report, in the third quarter of this year, the Spanish labor market created 209,100 jobs, mainly in the service sector, and registered a record 21.26 million workers, according to a labor force survey published by INE.

At the same time, however, the overall unemployment rate increased by 92,700 people, to a total of 2.85 million, raising Spain’s unemployment rate to 11.84%.

Unemployment among people under 25 fell very slightly, by 0.12 points in the third quarter of the year to 27.82%, a 15-year low compared to 2008.

However, the total number of unemployed young people increased to 518,100. people, by 50.5 thousand more than in the previous quarter, which, according to the INE study, is a negative trend observed mainly in the 20-24 age groups and among men.

Low wages, job insecurity and high unemployment among young Spaniards are one of the main obstacles to their emancipation, making it difficult for them, among other things, to have access to their own home.

Many young single people or couples do not have easy access to a mortgage and spend well over 30% of their wages on rent, which many experts say is well above the recommended safe debt limit.

The report shows that the total number of unemployed among people aged 20-24 increased to 376,100 people, 30,600 more than in the previous quarter, while among people aged 16-19 increased by 19,900 people, a total of 142,000 people. .

The report shows that the number of economically active people, which includes workers and jobseekers, increased by 301,900 people in the third quarter to 24.12 million, also reaching a new all-time high.

Wage increases, additional anti-inflation measures

Spain’s two main trade unions, CC.OO and UGT, are calling for bigger wage increases to cushion the impact of soaring inflation and its impact on the prices of food, fuel and other basic products.

Last May, UGT, CC.OO and the main employers’ association in Spain (CEOE) reached an agreement on salary increases of 4% in 2023, 3% in 2024 and a further 3% in 2025.

Pepe lvarez, secretary general of the UGT, called this week for the minimum wage (SMI) in Spain, currently 1,080, to be raised to 1,200 euros (in 14 payments) and for the maximum working week to be limited to 35 hours, which would improve productivity.

SMI would have to be 1,200 to be equivalent to 60% of the average salary in Spain, defended lvarez, quoted by Spanish media.

According to UGT, the evolution of fuel prices has made refueling a rare luxury, unavailable to many of Spain’s national economies.

INE data from September last year showed that Spain’s consumer price index (CPI) was 3.5%, nine tenths of a percentage point higher than recorded in August, while the annual inflation rate was 5.8% in September .

Shortly after the release of the INE report, CC.OO insisted on Thursday that triumphalist analyzes should be avoided. The unemployment rate of 11.84% is far from the EU average (5.9% in August), the trade union emphasized.

We must be content not only with a decline in the unemployment rate, but we must achieve full employment, said union employment secretary Mari Cruz Vicente, according to EFE.

(Fernando Heller |

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