Unemployment Rate Exceeds Five Million in February

According to data released by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security on Monday, the number of people unemployed in Spain increased by 59,444 people in February, which is up 1.19% from the previous month, and broke the 5 million barrier for the first time, bringing the total number of people registered unemployed to 5,040,222.

Nevertheless, this increase is the lowest for this month since 2008, when the number of people unemployed rose by 132,378. In 2009 the figure increased by 198,838 people, in 2010 by 82,132, in 2011 by 68,260, and in 2012 the unemployment figure rose by 112,269.

Since February 2012, unemployment has increased by 328,124 people, up 6.96%.

Unemployment rose in all sectors in February, year-on-year. In services there were 39,788 more unemployed (+1.28%); the group without previous employment added 8,711 newly unemployed (+2.39%); unemployment in agriculture rose by 7,987 (+3.93%); industry added 1,581 to their list of unemployed (+0.29%), and the number of unemployed in construction grew by 1,377 (+0.18%).

The Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, highlighted in the press release that registered unemployment is continuing to moderate its rate of increase and has accumulated a decline of more than 5 percentage points from a peak of nearly 13% reached in May 2012, to now stand below 7% in February 2013.

According to the Ministry’s data, compared with January, in February unemployment increased in both sexes, but most among men, with 30,796 more unemployed (+1.2%), compared with a rise in female unemployment of 28,648 women (+1.1%), bringing the total number of unemployed women to 2,536,596 and the total for men to 2,503,626.

In terms of recruitment, in February a total of 949,844 contracts were registered, 4% less than in February 2012. Of these, 91,584 were permanent, equivalent to 9.6% of the total, and 5% lower than the same month of 2012.

In February, unemployment rose in all regions, except in the Balearic Islands, where it fell by 1,562 people. Among the most significant increases noted were Andalusia, with 22,722 more people registered unemployed, and Madrid (+8,120).

Unemployment decreased in four provinces, especially in the Balearic Islands (-1,562 people), Huelva (-957) and Melilla (-142), and rose in the remaining provinces, most notably in Madrid (+8,120) and Seville (+5,499).