Unemployment in Spain drops below 3m for first time in 13 years

Number of unemployed in Catalonia falls below the 350,000 mark

2 min
An unemployed person waits to be attended to at an office of the Catalan Employment Service (SOY).

BarcelonaFor the first time since November 2008, the number of unemployed in Spain has fallen below 3 million. It now stands at 2,922,991, after falling by 99,512 people in May, according to data published on Thursday by the Ministry of Labour.

In Catalonia, registered unemployment fell below the 350,000 mark, which had not happened since August 2008. There are now 348,027 unemployed in Catalonia, 16,671 fewer than last month. Compared to May 2021, there are 133,790 fewer unemployed, a 27% drop which coincides with the Catalan economy's recovery after the initial shock of the pandemic.

On the other hand, Catalonia was the second region where the most new contracts were registered last month, with a total of 257,021, only behind Andalusia. In Spain as a whole, 1.6 million contracts were formalised in May (up 6%), of which over 730,000 were permanent. The Ministry of Labour emphasises that this is the highest figure for any month since records began. This, the ministry says, is a consequence of the new labour laws passed in February, which have boosted the number of permanent contracts to the detriment of temporary contracts in recent months. In fact, this is the highest drop in temporary hiring since records began, according to the ministry.

In terms of the number of employed, the average for May in Catalonia was 3,599,604 (37,501 more than in April), 4.7% more than last May, according to data from the Ministry for Social Security. This good performance of employment data was repeated in Spain as a whole, standing at 20,232,723 people, an increase of 213,642 over the previous month. "Moreover, the dynamism of employment this month is compatible with an improvement in its quality, a point in which the effects of the new labour law on the labour market can be appreciated, with a strong increase in permanent hiring," insisted the department headed by José Luis Escrivá