SPAIN’S youth face an uphill battle to join the employment ladder as new figures show that the country has the highest unemployment rate in Europe.

A new study released by Eurostat shows that Spain’s unemployment for the under-25’s is at a record 40.7%.

This puts Spain firmly at the top of the table, substantially above second place nation Greece which sits at 35.5%.

Spain has also registered the second highest rise in unemployment year on year, with 2020 figures representing a 2.5% increase since 2019, with only the Eastern Block country of Lithuania recording higher.

The grim news shows that Spain is well above the EU average of 17.8% which also has risen since 2019 by 0.9%.

Across all age groups, Spain registers 16.2% unemployment across all sectors, putting second behind Greece which sits at 16.7%.

The EU as a whole closed 2020 with an overall unemployment rate of 8.3%

The coronavirus pandemic has played a key factor in the reduction of job opportunities across Europe, however Spain was on a knife edge well before the virus took hold.

The country is still recovering from the financial crash of the 1980’s and has been stuck in a cycle of poor contracts and temporary work ever since.

According to figures from the INE, Spain has the highest percentage of precarious temporary contracts in Europe, 90%, and also remains dedicated to an employer focused employment laws, making hiring and firing much easier.

A large factor is also the fact that Spain has the worst internal transport systems in Europe and the lowest rate of internal travel according to Eurostat.

This has led to the large cities becoming hubs for what jobs there are, leaving the outskirts stranded.

The new Socialist government are making slow and steady promises to help improve the system but it is expected to be a long road ahead.

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