Spain's unemployment rate rose to a three-year high of 9.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to data released last Friday by the Spanish labour ministry. This data is calculated using the Spanish methodology, according to the seasonally adjusted comparable data using EU methodology and published by Eurostat, the figure was 9.3% in March (which is the latest month for which we have data, see chart below).
246,000 more people were classified as unemployed in the first quarter than a year earlier, and this is the third consecutive quarter in which the country's jobless rate has risen. Spain's service sector fuelled most of the losses, with 77,500 redundancies, closely followed by construction.
Finance minister Pedro Solbes told a press conference that he predicted unemployment would rise to 9.8 per cent this year and ten per cent the next. He also said he expects the Spanish economy to generate 200,000 jobs in both 2008 and 2009, although he didn't really elaborate in any detail on how he expects this target to be achieved, and it looks not only too optimistic but also completely unreal in the light of the crisis which is emerging.
Official unemployment figures realeased INEM were up by 37,542 in April, a month which is usually good for employment growth. This is the first time since 1996 that unemployment has risen between March and April. According to INEM there are now 2,338,517 registered unemployed in Spain.
In fact unemployment has risen by 315,393 (15.59%) over the last twelve months. Last year unemployment dropped by 36,327 in April which is almost the same number that it has risen this year.
The highest month on month rise in unemployed was among men with 28,230 more unemployed (2.9%) being added in April, while in comparison unemployment among female workers only rose by 9,312 (0.7%). At the end of April the total number of unemployed men was 996,715 and the total number of unemployed women was 1,341,802.
Year on year and when compared to April 2007 male unemployment is up by 30% and female unemployment by 6.7%.
Unemployment among the under 25 year olds has risen by 6,852 which is 2.5% more than in March.
Spain Real Time Data Charts
Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Spain related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Spain charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Spain's Economic Recovery - Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty?