More workers than in all of history or twice as much unemployment in the EU?

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the leader of the opposition, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, debated this Tuesday on the economic situationdelicate, that Spain is suffering and that is expected to worsen in the coming months with the arrival of winter and the threat of a gas supply cut by Russia that ends up undoing the already runaway rise in the CPI.

What Sanchez Says

In this context, the debate reached the point of the labor market. And it is here where the double reality experienced by employment in our country collided in the speeches of the political leaders. "Spain is going to grow twice as fast as the main European economies," President Sánchez recounted during his speech, concluding that "today there are more people working in Spain than at any other time in history."

Sánchez also wanted to value the management of the labor market in the worst months of the pandemic. “You did not apply ERTES, you applied massive layoffs,” Sánchez recalled.

What Feijoo Says

However, the PP leader brought the other side of the coin to the debate. While economic growth allows Spain to offer historical levels of employment, it is not being reflected in the figures for the unemployed. Our country doubles the unemployment rate of the EU and the eurozone. But who is right about the reality of employment in Spain? Are there clearer or darker clouds?

In principle, everything is correct in the speech of the President of the Government: employment closed, despite the disaster due to the end of the tourist season that came to destroy 190,000 jobs, in August in 20.1 million affiliates, which represents 677,277 more affiliates than a year ago and 900,000 more jobs than before the start of the pandemic. In fact, never before had there been more than 20 million contributors in Spain.

The slab of unemployment

However, as the president of the opposition points out, the main resistance lies in the difficulties that the market has encountered despite the advance in occupation to reincorporate the unemployed into activity. In August, Spain recorded a total of 2.9 million unemployed, according to figures published this Thursday by Eurostat, which is equivalent to an unemployment rate of 12.6%.

What is striking about the figure, in this case, is found in the international comparison with the rest of the powers of the eurozone and the European Union (EU). Specifically, this unemployment rate of 12.6% registered in Spain in July is the highest of both the 27 countries of the EU, and the 19 of the eurozone, which registered rates of 6%, and 6.6% on average , respectively. In addition, only Greece registers similar volumes of unemployment for the whole of the employed population, with an unemployment rate of 11.4%. Of course, in the case of the Greeks there are 500,000 people who make up the lists of unemployed, that is, one sixth of Spain.

Who has the reason?

What is certain and true is that in this crossing of statements both leaders found the right keys. The reality: the recovery after the pandemic has allowed Spain to face unprecedented growth in employment, with rates above 3%, and at a rate similar to that of GDP growth itself.

However, although this same payment for job creation served to lower unemployment levels, the reality is that unemployment has remained stony at around 3 million unemployed. Moreover, a floor of 2.8 million unemployed was reached in June, but until then the lightening of the SEPE lists that has led to economic and tourism recovery. Already in August, two months later, this figure exceeded 2.9 million after including another 40,000 people at the end of last month.

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