People waiting outside an employment office in Madrid. (Efe)
Unemployment in Spain dropped by 2.1 percent in June compared to the previous month, according to the labour ministry. The situation, however, remains dark with a total of over 4.6 million people without jobs, the highest rate in the European Union.
Also, the number of unemployed who receive benefits has dropped, given that the time limit of two years has run out. One third of those without jobs don't receive any aid.
Moreover, the unemployment figures don’t take into account the seasonal changes, given that large numbers of jobs are created in the tourist industry during the high season between April and August, jobs that disappear after the tourist season.
If seasonal changes are discounted in the statistics, the number of unemployed actually grew by 18,697, which means unemployment would affect over 4.7 million people.
More people without benefits
The crisis has not only affected the number of unemployed, it is also affecting the unemployment benefits. One third of those registered as unemployed – 34.6 percent – don’t receive any aid.
When based on statistics over the active population, this number is even higher: almost half of the people who are unemployed receive no benefits.
According to the labour ministry, 2.9 million people get unemployment coverage out of the total of 4.6 who are unemployed, a number that is decreasing.
65.4 percent now covered
When the crisis begun, the coverage rate – the relation between the total number of beneficiaries and those with work experience registered as unemployed – was 71 percent. Following the recession and the increased unemployment rate, the coverage in 2009 was above 85 percent.
It began to decrease rapidly from this moment as many beneficiaries reached the time limit for benefit aid of two years, to reach the current level at 65.4 percent.
The drop of unemployment numbers in June was the largest since data has been collected in 1996. It was the third consecutive month that unemployment has decreased.
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