The Spanish labor market is proving to be more resilient than most people expected at a time of internal and external uncertainty. While unemployment grew in the first quarter of 2019, the Spanish economy has created 596,900 jobs over the past 12 months, representing a 3.14% increase, according to data released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This is the highest figure for a one-year period since the summer of 2007, before the start of the economic crisis.
In the first three months of the year, there were 19.5 million people in employment and 3.35 million out of a job, putting the jobless rate at 14.7%. There were an additional 49,900 people filing for unemployment benefits between January and March, the biggest quarterly increase since 2013.
The quarterly figures are influenced by the fact that the Easter holiday – which represents a peak in seasonal hiring – came late this year. Last year, Easter was observed in March. The INE also offers seasonally adjusted figures, which show that unemployment fell by 2.92% during the three-month period.