Spain is the only European country that fails to drop below 30% – CVBJ

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DANIEL VIAA

Madrid

JUAN C. SNCHEZ

Graphic

Updated on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – 02:02 AM

Despite the improvement in the labor market highlighted by the Government, unemployment figures remain very high and particularly affect those under 24.

Unemployment Spain has already accumulated 53 quarters suffering from an unemployment rate above 10%

Italy, Greece and Portugal have very high youth unemployment rates. Still striking Sweden, Lithuania, Belgium and even France also suffer from high rates in this sector of the population. But what neither of these countries is racking up is such a high unemployment rate among the under 24 years that the data reaches more than 30%, which only happens in one European country: Spain.

In fact, the fact that the Spanish economy exceeds this alarming level has already become commonplace, and even the recovery in employment that the government insists so much on has managed to reverse this situation. The latest figures released yesterday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development show it: in September, the youth unemployment rate in Spain stood at 30.6%, and in this OECD area only Costa Rica has a higher figure.

The rate contrasts sharply with the averages of the euro zone, the European Union or the OECD itself. In the first two cases, the numbers are around 16%, so the Spanish data is almost double. The difference is even greater given the 10% on average presented by the OECD, and if the comparison is made with Germany the result is totally gloomy: the Spanish figure is five times higher.

The trend, it is true, shows a certain moderation since in the previous publication, which referred to the month of August, the youth unemployment rate was 31.7%. And at the end of last year, the figure was even over 38%, so the reduction is obvious. But even so, that Europe’s fourth largest economy has 30% of its young people unemployed it is hardly admissible.

And it is also true that in absolute terms, Spain is also the European country with the highest unemployment rate. 14.6% at the end of September, this is once again double the EU and OECD averages, and the comparison with Germany, but also with the Czech Republic, Denmark or Poland produce data five, six or even seven times smaller.

This complex context is occurring, as has already been pointed out, despite the obvious improvement in the labor market. Membership is already at pre-pandemic levels, which gross domestic product (GDP) has yet to achieve and which will most likely have to wait until the middle of next year. Anticipated growth data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) compared to the third quarter confirm that the recovery has lost its vigor, and most forecasts indicate that Spain will grow below 6% and may even remain below 5%.

This shows an indistinct decoupling between the economy and the rate of job creation, two variables which in Spain – and in most European countries – have always evolved very homogeneously. And among economists, there is some confusion about this phenomenon, but there is also some unanimity in pointing out certain circumstances that help to explain it. On the one hand, the 190,000 employees who remain in the Temporary Work Register (ERTE), who count in terms of affiliation but do not generate wealth. Self-employed persons on cessation of activity as well as the total number of hours worked also help to explain the decoupling, and finally it must be taken into account that a significant part of the resumption of affiliation is due to the increase in the number of hours worked. public hiring.

Funcas, for example, has concluded on more than one occasion that indeed the total membership is already at the pre-pandemic level but, at the same time, there is a deficit in effective terms. Membership exceeds its pre-crisis level in gross terms, but in actual and seasonally adjusted terms, i.e. by updating ERTE workers and compensated self-employed workers, there is still a deficit of 131,000 jobs, even higher if only private employment is taken into account, he confirmed this month after reading the affiliation data.

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