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Unemployment rate in Spain 2020, by age group

After the 2008 financial crisis, many Spaniards lost their jobs and the Mediterranean country was left with one of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union. In recent years, at least until the economic crisis provoked by the COVID-19, everything pointed at a slow but sure recovery of the job market in Spain, although the unemployment rate among the younger age groups remained still quite high. In fact, over 50 percent of those aged 16-19 did not have a job in 2020. This figure goes down to approximately 35 percent in ages 20-24 and 23 for 25 to 29-year-olds. In stark contrast, youth unemployment figures in the European Union reached 16.8 percent in 2020. The unemployed rate for under 25s was the highest in Spain, followed by Greece, Sweden and Italy, the Nordic country and all the three Mediterranean countries featuring rates of over 25 percent in the younger workforce groups.

An ongoing and tough recovery

Spanish unemployment rate skyrocketed in 2008, jumping from eight percent in the first quarter that year up to 17.24 percent during the same quarter a year after. The Spanish unemployment crisis hit hardest in 2013, when a record high of 27 percent of the population did not have a job. In numbers, that share translates into 6.3 million professionals left out of the workforce. The job market initiated a recovery thereafter, making moderate and laborious progress and reducing the numbers to approximately 3.3 million unemployed workers – that is 14.41 percent of the active population in the first quarter of 2020. The impact of the coronavirus on the Spanish economy caused the unemployment rate to surge again throughout 2020, but still remained far from the figures reached after the financial crisis.

The unemployment situation in the European Union

Greece was the European country with the highest unemployment rate in July 2020, with 18.3 percent of the labor force out of work. The unemployment rate in Spain stood at a rate of 15.8 percent in that timeframe, which is still considerably higher than that of the rest of the European Union.

Unemployment rate in Spain in 2020, by age group*

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* The source adds the following information: "Unemployment according to International Labour Office (ILO) definition, which here refers to the total number unemployed. Unemployed persons who: - are without work; - are available to start work within the next two weeks; - and have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks or had already found a job to start within the next three months."

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