Unemployment in Spain - Statistics & Facts

The unemployment rate is one of the indicators most commonly used to analyze the prosperity and economic situation of a country. In current times, it also constitutes one of the most serious problems Spanish society must face. Before the 2008 financial crisis, the country’s unemployment rate ranged within 10 percent. In fact, the lowest rate ever recorded was at 8.57 percent during the last quarter of 2007. This, however, did not last long, since the rate ballooned to such an extent during the financial crisis that it did not go below 20 percent from 2010 to 2016.

The social group most affected by the financial situation and the job crisis that it caused was the younger generation. Even to this day, youths aged 16 to 24 years are the age group that most struggle to find a job in Spain. On the other side of the spectrum, professionals aged 40 to 44 years had the lowest unemployment rate in the country at about 12.11 percent. Within the EU no other European country overtakes Spain in terms of the youth unemployment rate, that is, the working age population under 25 years old. As of 2021 the closest to Spain was Greece, whose national youth unemployment rate stood at approximately 30.4 percent, in comparison to 37.1 percent registered in the former. The poor job markets in these countries have encouraged many young people to migrate to other European states that could potentially offer better career prospects.

At a regional level, Andalusia, Canary Islands and Extremadura are the Spanish autonomous communities that are most affected by unemployment. The out-of-work population in these three areas stood at over 18 percent in the last quarter of 2021. When looking at various economic sectors, services is the professional area that has the highest unemployment rates on record. In 2021, the number of people without a job in this sector reached 1.12 million, whereas other sectors registered steady figures under 200 thousand.

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