Unemployment Rises to 4,980,778 in January

According to data released on Monday by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the number of registered unemployed rose by 132,055 people in January over December, bringing the total number of unemployed to 4,980,778 (2.72% more). Since January 2012, unemployment has increased by 380,949 people (+8.28%). The increase is lower than last year, when it rose by 177,470 unemployed.

Unemployment rose in all sectors, and totaled 108,982 unemployed in services (+3.64%), 15,303 in agriculture (+8.15%); 7,763 in industry (+1.43%) and 3,477 in construction (+0.46%), and fell among the group without previous employment by 3,470 (-0.94%).

Regarding recruitment, Cinco Dias reported that the number of contracts registered came to 1,101,819, an increase of 5.72% over 2012, and of those, 100,609 were permanent, an increase of 28.39%. Most new permanent contracts, however, were part-time.

Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, said that January’s data has continued to maintain the trend of the slower rate of increase in registered unemployment, within the context of the current economic recession. “The year-on-year increase rate reached in May 2012, which was close to 13%, has continued to decline since then and now stands at around 8%,” she said.

According to Hidalgo, “the current economic situation invites us to be cautious and remain alert to developments in registered unemployment in the coming months to see if the trend of slowing growth in registered unemployment continues”. However, Hidalgo continued, “while unemployment is at such high levels, let there be not the slightest doubt that we will continue working to assist with the economic recovery and employment.”

On the other hand, according to the data released on Monday by the Ministry, the average number of social security members fell by 263,243 people in January, bringing the total number of contributors to 16,179,438, and represents the sixth consecutive month of declines. The January decline is lower than last year, when the number of contributors fell by 271,654 people, but higher than those of 2008, 2010 and 2011.

No economic sector escaped the drop in employment in January. The sectors which suffered most were trade, construction, manufacturing and administrative services, with losses of contributors of between 30,000 and 40,000 people. Similarly, all regions recorded declines in the number of contributors.

The January decline marks the social security system’s fifth consecutive monthly loss. The Secretary of State for Social Security, Tomás Burgos, stresses that these results are normal for this time of year as January “has always been a bad month for employment” due to the ending of Christmas recruitment.