SPAIN’S December jobless total was the lowest since 2007 according to government figures released on Wednesday.
Unemployment last month stood at 2.7 million- down by 27,375 on the November total.
By sectors, unemployment fell in services by 25,158 people; in agriculture, by 1,965 people and among previously unemployed by 7,018 people.
The total rose in construction with 5,285 more unemployed and in industry where 1,481 more people are jobless.
Among young people aged under 25, the total fell by 12,014 last month to the lowest figure under current measurement systems- namely, 193,965.
Unemployment dropped in 14 regions and increased only in Catalunya (3,474 people), the Valencian Community(885) and La Rioja (160).
In year-on-year terms, the regions where unemployment fell the most last year were the Balearic Islands, Aragon and Galicia.
The Ministry of Labour said that 2023 has been ‘a very positive year in terms of employment despite the uncertainty of the international situation’.
Minister Yolanda Diez said the December total was ‘very good news’ and also highlighted the big fall in youth unemployment.
Speaking to Radio Nacional, Diaz said that the figures show that labour policies ‘are going in the right direction’, although ‘there is still a lot to do’ because ‘as long as there is a family with unemployed members, we have to continue working’
She also confirmed that the government will raise the minimum wage to compensate for inflation.
The UGT union welcomed the ‘positive news’ about unemployment rates last year which in its view was down to labour reforms, but appealed for working conditions to be improved in ‘all jobs’.
In a statement, the union stressed that the 2023 figures show that the labour market ‘continues to remain strong and dynamic despite the uncertain economic and political context’.