Unemployment rate in Spain 2018, 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, however, everything points at a slow but sure recovery of the job market in Spain, although the unemployment rate among the younger age groups is still quite high. In fact, nearly 50 percent of those aged 16-19 did not have a job in 2018. This figure goes down to approximately 31 percent in ages 20-24 and 20.4 for 25 to 29-year-olds. Youth unemployment figures in the European Union reached 15 percent in 2019. The unemployed rate for under 25s was highest in Greece, followed by Italy and Spain, all the three Mediterranean countries featuring rates of over 30 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 of 2018 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 3.5 million unemployed workers – that is 14.7 percent of the active population in the first quarter of 2019.

The unemployment situation in the European Union

Greece was the European country with the highest unemployment rate during in January 2019, with 18.5 percent of the labor force out of work. The unemployment rate in Spain stood at a rate of 6.5 percent in that timeframe, which is still considerably higher than that of the rest of the European Union.

Unemployment rate in Spain in 2018, by age group*

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Supplementary notes

* 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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