THE COVID-19 outbreak has taken its toll on the country’s unemployment figures as statistics were released by the Social Security department yesterday.

It recorded a record drop of 833,979 social security contributors during the month of March.

The change in trend is almost a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as many businesses have had to temporarily close their doors on government orders.

Since March 14, the entire country has been on restricted movement all non essential businesses were ordered to close their doors to help stem the spread of the virus.

In terms of regional dispersion, Andalucia has recorded the highest drop in figures with 6.64%, closely followed by the Canary Islands with 6.24%, Murcia with 5.07% and Valencia with 5.75%. 

On the other hand, during the first 12 days of March, just 2,857 applied for unemployment status, days before the official lockdown commenced, but with the imposed regulations, applications spiked. 

Since March 14, a total of 302,265 further applications were made, bringing the country’s total unemployed to nearly 3.54 million people, putting Spain second only behind Greece in terms of the jobless.

One of the worst sectors hit is the tourism sector, with a total of 206,016 claims registered since the beginning of lockdown.

In an industry that equals 12% of the country’s GDP, travel restrictions and thousands of grounded flights have battered the sector potentially costing the country €4 billion in revenue.

The figures also don’t include those who have been classed as temporarily unemployed and have been issued an ERTE

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