Traditionally, Spain’s job market receives a boost at the outset of the summer season – mostly thanks to tourism – and then recedes in August. But this year the positive trend is yet to subside. According to data released recently, unemployment fell by 82,583 people in the eighth month of the year compared to July, and the total number of jobless fell to 3,333,915 workers. The ranks of the unemployed have been falling for six months in Spain now, and according to the Labour Ministry, this August saw the biggest fall in the current statistical series, which began in 1996.
However, this fall in jobseekers in August was not accompanied by a rise in the number of people signed up to the Social Security system – considered a key indicator for job creation in Spain. Compared to July, there were 118,004 fewer contributors, but this is an average and without taking seasonal factors into account. The total number of contributors for last month was 19,473,724. Once this number is seasonally adjusted, the results are more positive: 19,477,505 contributors, up 76,541 compared to the month before.
The sectors that created most jobs in August were hospitality (+2.39 percent) and household activities (+3.91 percent), while the greatest losses were seen in education (-6.7 percent) and artistic, leisure and entertainment activities (-5.29 percent). The number of self-employed workers also fell by 7,358 (-0.22 percent) from July to August, to 3,315,603.
While the summer is traditionally a good time for the Spanish job market, this boost is usually limited to June and July, when contracts are signed. August, however, usually offsets this positive data, given that it marks the end of the tourism high season and thus the end of many of these work contracts.
There is optimism within the Spanish government that the economy will continue to recover in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and the positive data from the labour market are serving to bolster that sensation.