A car factory in Palencia. / R. C.

Employment in Spain returns to pre-pandemic level with 19.6 million workers

The data from the Department of Social Security shows that 102,474 jobs were created in October, mainly in the services, agriculture, construction and industry sectors


Spain's job market has remained strong in October despite the end of the tourist season and 102,474 jobs have been created, representing 0.5 per cent more than in September. According to the Department of Social Security data the number of people contributing to the system now stands at 19,662,163.

Compared to February 2020, the month prior to the start of the coronavirus crisis, the number of people in employment is exceeded by 182,349.

The latest employment data for this October doubles the increase for the same month in the two preceding years. And it follows six months of increases this year, which add up to a total of 642,539 employed people being added to the system.

The strongest sectors for new employment in October were services (98,737 more), agriculture (6,110), construction (3,984) and industry with 2,968.

In the last 12 months, the increase of people contributing to the Social Security system in the Balearic Islands stands out, with 16.68 per cent more in the last 12 months; the Canary Islands, which increased by 4.26 per cent, the Valencia region (4.02 per cent) and the Community of Madrid (3.98 per cent). Only the autonomous city of Melilla registered a slight decrease (-0.41 per cent).

ERTE furlough scheme

The positive employment data is complemented by a further reduction in the number of workers covered by the ERTE furlough scheme. October closed with 190,718 people protected by this measure, according to the provisional data collected by the Department of Social Security. This is the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. During the hardest time of the health crisis, before summer last year, more than 3.6 million workers were covered by the ERTE scheme.


Meanwhile, the number of unemployment registered in the offices of the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) has fallen by 734 (-0.02 people) people. The Ministry of Employment says the figure is "exceptional", since, it explains, it is the first time that unemployment has decreased in this month since 1975. Since February, the number of people registered has dropped by 751,721.

By economic sectors, in October unemployment fell in services by 4,683 people (-0.20 per cent), in construction with 4,523 fewer registered (-1.74 per cent) and in industry it fell by 847 people (-0.32 per cent). In agriculture, it increased by 7,577 people (5.10 per cent), due to the seasonal nature of the sector.

Female unemployment was reduced by 3,660 (-0.19 per cent) women to a total of 1,928,579 women. Unemployment among men increased by 2,926 people (0.22 per cent) to a total of 1,328,489.

Unemployment among young people, under 25 years of age, rose in October by 5,867 people (2.34 per cent) compared to the previous month. Unemployment among the group aged 25 and over fell by 6,601 people (-0.22 per cent).