Over 413,000 more people are in work than a year ago, a 2.3% rise, all in the private sector and on a full-time basis. The total number of unemployed closed the year at 4.24 million, the lowest figure in seven years.
The buoyant Spanish economy helped reduce unemployment figures by 541,700 at the close of 2016, according to figures from the Labour Force Survey (Spanish acronym: EPA) published by the National Statistics Institute (Spanish acronym: INE). The total number of unemployed stood at 4.24 million – the lowest figure since the third quarter of 2009. The unemployment rate fell to 18.6%, 2.26 points below the level posted a year ago. Employment rose by 413,900 people, 2.3% up on the last quarter of the previous year, all created in the private sector and on a full-time basis. The number of households with all its active members out of work fell by 168,900 people to 1.38 million, while the number of households with all its members in work rose by 353,200 to 9.88 million.
The year-end follows a last quarter of 2016 in which, as is usual for this period, seasonal factors have affected the results. Unemployment has fallen by 83,000 people on the third quarter, the largest fall on record for a fourth quarter. The number of people in work fell by 19,400, almost all in the public sector, while the private sector fell by 1,600 people. The total number of people with a permanent employment contract rose by 60,200 in the quarter, while those on a temporary employment contract fell by 79,400.
During 2016 as a whole, the labour market has performed in line with the Spanish economy. This is the third year in a row to post improved employment figures and the fourth in terms of falling unemployment figures. Progress is thus being made on recovering the levels before the crisis in terms of the number of people in work and on reaching the target of 20 million people in work by the end of 2019. Employment is growing at an average annual rate of 2.7%, three tenths lower than in 2015, to reach the figure of 18.5 million people in work. The number of unemployed has dropped to 4.24 million and the unemployment rate has fallen by more than two points, to stand at 18.63% of the active population. In neither of these cases have these figures been seen since the third quarter of 2009, since which time the unemployment rate has fallen by more than eight points.
All the jobs created over the last year have been in the private sector, with 428,500 more people in work, while public employment has fallen by 14,600 people. All of these jobs have been on a full-time basis (up by 424,600), while part-time work has seen numbers fall by 10,700. Jobs have been created in all sectors, above all in services (58% of the total), followed by industry, agriculture and construction. The number of salaried workers on permanent employment contracts has increased by 169,900 and the number on temporary employment contracts by 226,700. Consequently, the temporary employment rate stands at 26.47% (25.66% a year ago).
The annual fall in unemployment stands at 11.33%, and has affected the following sectors in this order; services, construction and agriculture, while industry saw virtually no change. The number of unemployed who lost their job more than a year ago fell by 382,000 while the number of first-time job seekers fell by 38,900. Over the last 12 months, the number of households with all its members out of work has again fallen, while the number with all its active members in work has risen.