Spanish jobless numbers fall for fifth month

Strong tourist figures help lift employment statistics

The number of people unemployed from construction dropped 17,310 and was down 11,233 people from industry, the ministry said. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

The number of people unemployed from construction dropped 17,310 and was down 11,233 people from industry, the ministry said. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 11:02

The number of registered jobless in Spain fell in July from a month earlier, the fifth straight month of declines, the Labour Ministry said today, boosted by seasonal factors including a strong tourist season.

Jobless numbers fell by 1.4 per cent in July, or by 64,866 people, leaving 4.7 million people out of work, the data showed.

The follow a quarterly survey by the National Statistics Institute which reported an unemployment rate of 26.3 per cent in the second quarter with 6 million people unable to find work.

“In annual terms, employment continues to be destroyed and unemployment continues to be generated, but less than before and this points to a change in trend. It suggests that the unemployment rate could be similar in the third quarter as the second,” said Estefania Ponte, economy and strategy director at Cortal Consors.

Registered jobless numbers rose 2.4 per cent in July from a year earlier, the ministry figures showed.

Spanish unemployment has soared to record levels since the property bubble burst in 2008 and is expected to remain high for years to come as the battered economy, in recession since the end of 2011, struggles to return to sustainable growth.

The Labour Ministry tends registered jobless figures tend to be lower than the statistics institute’s estimates as the disillusioned long-term unemployed, who’s benefits end after two years, stop signing on.

According to the statistics institute, some 1.9 million people who had previously held a job had been out of work for more than two years in the second quarter.

The number of people registering as out of work in July fell in all the main economic sectors, with the largest drop seen in the services industry, down 37,614 people, or 1.3 per cent, boosted by a strong tourism season.

Spain’s tourist sector, worth over 10 per cent of economic output, has seen a boost this year as holiday makers avoid trouble spots in usually popular destinations in Northern Africa such as Egypt

Unemployed from construction dropped 17,310 people and was down 11,233 people from industry, the ministry said. (- Reuters)