31 Jul, 2010 @ 18:27
1 min read

Spain’s unemployment level hits a new high

AFTER the worst recession for 50 years Spain’s unemployment level reached new heights.

A total of 4.6million out of work, means that 20.09 per cent of the population is out of work.

This is the highest in Europe and more than twice the average for Europe.

A massive 42 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds are on the dole, while regions such as Andalucia are seeing over 25 per cent out of work.

A massive 42 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds are on the dole, while regions such as Andalucia are seeing over 25 per cent out of work.

The government has imposed an austerity program of 15 billion euros in spending cuts but warned this will slow down the country’s recovery.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called the new figures “unacceptably high” but said his government thinks economic figures for the second quarter, due out next month, will show stronger growth.

Zapatero said he will seek to pass a lean budget for 2011, with average spending cuts of 15 percent in government ministries, “ratifying our full commitment to austerity.”

The statistics institute said in Friday’s report that there are now 4.645 million unemployed people in Spain, more than half a million higher than a year ago.

In the late 90s to 2008 Spain enjoyed record growth fuelled by an impressive property boom.

But the bubble burst in 2008 and as the housing market collapsed, tax revenue fell and the country’s small budget surplus became a large deficit.

The recession in Spain has hit the hundreds of thousands of British expats who have made new lives on the Costas, and it has been made worse by the weak value of the pound, which dropped by 23 per cent against the euro in 2008.

Expats making their living from British tourists were badly hit as visitors sought cheaper holidays in Turkey and Egypt.

Some have returned to the UK rather than live in poverty in Spain, but many have found they are unable to sell their properties.

Unemployment in Spain has risen for the 12th consecutive quarter between April and June to hit its highest level since 1997, it was announced today.

As a tentative recovery from recession failed to put people back in jobs, the unemployment rate inched up to 20.09 per cent in the second quarter from 20.05 per cent recorded in the first three months of the year.

Ben May, an economist at Capital Economics, said: ‘The economy is still very weak with small growth in the first quarter and we expect unemployment to continue to inch up over the next few quarters.’

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. I think the headline should read “Spain’s OFFICIAL unemployment level…”.
    Stand outside the Dole office and watch the guys signing on, leaving the car engine running and pacing up and down agitatedly, because they have to get back to the building site within the half hour the foreman has allowed them.

  2. You ran a piece on the Black Economy on June 11.
    Ex-pats should be aware that if you employ someone who is on the ‘black’, i.e. not paying their own Autonomo, and that person has an accident on the your premises, all hell will be let loose.

  3. I have been living in Spain since 1976 and always self employed,most of the time paying social and tax, well now l cant, had to go into Baja and work black, no choice business so bad, just cant pay 280 euros social every month when sometimes only bring in 600 euros. I have 5 years before l can claim any pension, and need to pay at least another three years to make that up. Not entitled to anything, single and really struggling. Love Spain but really not the place to be in hard times.

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