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Spain's jobless rate falls below 15% for the first time since 2008

Queues at an unemployment office in Madrid.
Queues at an unemployment office in Madrid. / Reuters
  • In Malaga province and the Costa del Sol, unemployment stands at 18%, with 140,100 local people out of work, and nationally the figure is 3.3 million

The national unemployment rate fell in the third quarter of this year below 15% for the first time in ten years to 14.55%. This translates into 164,000 fewer out of work and places the number of unemployed in Spain at 3,326,000.

The quarterly data is from the active working population survey, (Encuesta de Población Activa-EPA), which is considered more reliable than the monthly Social Security data and is used by the EU to compare Spain with other countries.

In the last 12 months, unemployment has fallen by 405,800 nationally, a reduction of almost 11%. Numbers in work have grown by 478,800 people (2.51%) in the last year.

Adjusting for seasonality, the fall in unemployment is 2.29 percentage points from July to September.

Between July and September there were 49,700 more people in work in the public sector and 134,000 workers in the private sector.

In terms of sectors of the economy, employment has grown most in the last quarter in the service sector (210,200), in construction (24,900), and industry (2,800), although it has fallen in agriculture by 54,000 fewer.

In the last year there are 346,800 more people in work in the service sector, 85,600 in construction and 55,000 in industry. The agricultural sector shed a net 8,600 jobs last year.

The biggest fall in unemployment in the last quarter were in areas with the most significant tourist industry, such as Catalonia with 28,300 unemployed fewer and the Balearics with 24,600 fewer.

Andalucía still high

On a yearly basis, the biggest fall in the jobless total has been in Andalucía, the largest autonomous region in Spain, with 107,400 fewer unemployed in the year and 12,100 in the last quarter.

According to the survey, there are 898,200 people currently unemployed in the Andalusian region. This equates to 20.85% of the available workforce, although there are provinces in the region, such as Almeria and Huelva, where unemployment is still over 25%.

Malaga at 18%

In Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, unemployment fell by 18,200 people in the last year and there are now 140,100 local jobless, 17.88% of the available workforce.