Spanish Economy Is On the Rise While the Unemployment Rate is Stuck


The Spanish economy remains to be on the rise, making it one of the bright stars in the feeble Eurozone. Many European countries either stagnate or threatened by a viable recession – and the low interest rates, provided by the European Central Bank, do not seem to help that much. Spain, which suffered a horrific recession in 2008-2010, seems to recover now at a brisk pace.

The quarterly report, compiled by the National Institute of Statistics, showed that the Spanish economy grew by 0.8 percent in the first three months of 2017, making it one of the fastest-rising economies in the stagnating EU. This prompted the Spanish officials to revisit its annual forecasts, which previously equaled to 2.5 percent of annual GDP growth in 2017. Now, the authorities believe that the Spanish economy will grow by 2.7 percent this year.

economy in Spain

One may barely see such queues anymore

Despite the bright prospects for the Spanish economy, the country’s unemployment rate remains to be the second-highest in the Eurozone, beaten only by Greece. Though, the rate of unemployment is much lower than the peak figure of 27% of the Spanish people who looked for  jobs in 2013 – at the present time, the figures of unemployment rate are 18.8.

Nevertheless, Luis de Guindos, the Minister of Economy, expressed confidence that the unemployment rate will continue to decline. He assured journalists that the sustainable economic growth of the Spanish economy will provide over a million of new workplaces within two years. Thus, he assumed that the unemployment rate will be lowered up to 11.2 percent in 2020.

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Yet, Spain has seen a slight rise of unemployment rate in the first quarter, according to the recently released quarterly report of the Spanish labor market. That does not come as a surprise for observers and economists – the first quarter of the year has been usually bad for the labor market in Spain. At the end of the year, most Spanish retailers and providers of various services hire more people to match the growing demand for their services and goods – due to the Christmas – with the respective supply, thus sending the unemployment rate down.

The report, which has been published by the National Statistics Institute, clearly shows that picture. Even though the number of unemployed Spaniards fell by over half a million people in the annual terms, there is a slight rise in the unemployment rate if compared to the end of 2016. 4.25 million Spanish people remain unemployed at the present time.

Analysts and economists seem not to be bothered by such news and ensure that the recovery of the Spanish economy is still on track. The Bank of Spain has published its forecasts for the unemployment rate: it will reach the indicator of 16.7 percent by the end of 2017 and 15.4 by the end of 2018.

Yet, the problems with employment for the majority of Spaniards remain: most of those who get employed are short-term workers. The number of Spaniards who got to sign over 10 labor contracts in a single year has increased from 150,000 workers in 2012 up to 270,000 workers in 2016.


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