Registered Unemployment Down 59,094 in December

Unemployment figures from the Public Employment Services of all the regions in Spain for the month of December 2012 dropped by a combined total of 59,094 people in relation to the previous month. It is the best figure recorded for December in the comparable series, which began in 1996. In relative terms the reduction in unemployment is 1.20%.

In December 2011 the number of unemployed increased by 1,897 compared to the previous month.

In total, the number of people registered unemployed stood at 4,848,723, with unemployment increasing by 426,364 people (9.64%) year-on-year.

Spanish Government website, La Moncloa, reported that by economic sector, registered unemployment reduced in agriculture by 3,092 people (-1.62%), in services it lowered by 49,438 (-1.62%) and in the group without previous employment it fell by 13,683 (-3.58%). In contrast, unemployment rose in industry by 2,794 people (0.52%) and also in construction by 4,325 (0.58%).

Male unemployment reduced by 8,321 (-0.34%) compared to November, and stood at 2,407,907 males unemployed, while registered unemployment among women dropped by 50,773 (-2.04%), representing 86% of the total reduction in unemployment, reaching 2,440,816.

Youth unemployment (under 25s) decreased by 29,738 people (-6.11%) over the previous month, and in the group over 25 years it decreased by 29,356 (-0.66%).

Thirteen regions registered decreases in unemployment, including Andalucia (-26,972), Madrid (-9,278) and Valencia (-5,204). However it rose in 4, led by Galicia (2,251) and Cantabria (523).

By province, unemployment fell by 41, among which were Madrid (-9,278), Jaén (-7,169) and Barcelona (-4,223). Increases were registered in 11, led by A Coruña (1,750) and Caceres (586).

Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, said that “the reduction in unemployment has been more intense in the groups and sectors that traditionally have a strong performance in December: women, youths, people with no previous employment and the service sector”.

Hidalgo pointed out that the slower growth in unemployment year-on-year, which is below 10% and far from the peak of 12.5% reached in May, is significant, and said “In the last six months unemployment has performed better than in 2011, since in the second half of 2011 unemployment rose by 300,000 people, while in the same period of 2012 it increased by 233,000 people.”

However,Hidalgo emphasised the need to study the December unemployment data carefully and closely follow the progress of registered unemployment in the coming months in order to evaluate whether the trend of slowing growth in unemployment experienced in the last six months is continuing.