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Unemployment climbs to over 16 per cent as Covid-19 effect continues to grow

A queue at an employment office in Cordoba this summer.
A queue at an employment office in Cordoba this summer. / V. Merino
  • Over the summer, 355,000 jobs were lost in Spain, according to the respected quarterly EPA active population survey

The unemployment rate in Spain reached 16.26 per cent at the end of September. This is according to the government's latest active population survey (EPA, Encuesta de Población Activa), published every three months.

The regular survey is seen as the most reliable study on the real level of unemployment in Spain and is used by the EU to compare it with other countries.

At the end of last month, the number of people out of work stood at 3,722,900. This was half a million more than a year ago.

Despite an increase in people back in work in the survey period from July to September, as employers took on staff on short-term contracts for the summer months, this was not enough to reduce the jobless figure. The total went up 355,000 nationally over the three months, the largest increase ever recorded in the July to September period.

The data, published on Tuesday, does not include the some 700,000 people who are still on ERTE furlough schemes in Spain. This amount is likely to increase again as fresh lockdown measures come in this week.

Malaga and Costa increase

In Malaga province specifically, including the Costa del Sol, there were 29,900 more jobless at the end of September than the start of July, despite the reopening of tourism in the area.

Locally there were over 180,000 out of work, a figure not seen since 2017. The provincial unemployment rate, according to the EPA survey, was 22.6 per cent, as of the end of September. The survey also shows there were almost 31,000 fewer people working in the province over the summer than a year ago.