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Spain’s unemployment rate continues to double that of the European Union in January, despite having fallen by 2 tenths compared to the last month of 2020. Thus, while the average unemployment rate of the 27 has remained at 7.3%, the Spanish rate has fallen to 16%, a percentage that is slightly below double the Eurozone figures, a level that it had exceeded since the first half of last year, given that unemployment in the 19 Euro countries also remained at 8.1%.
These are the conclusions of the seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published this Thursday by Eurostat, which imply that Spain no longer has the highest unemployment rate in the EU, given that the fall of 2 tenths in January places the country behind Greece’s 16.2%, although the Hellenic country has not offered updated data on its labor market since last November.
Thus, the Spanish unemployment rate has moderated again at the beginning of 2021 after closing the previous year at 16.2%, the same percentage held by Greece before it stopped publishing official employment figures. However, in gross terms, Spain is the European country with the most unemployed, some 3.72 million, 23.7% of the 15.65 million unemployed registered in the EU in January.
Spain closes 2020 with 3.8 million unemployed: the coronavirus and 6 other key factors explain the worst year for employment since 2009.
In addition, Spain and Greece are the only 2 countries of the 27 that show a double-digit unemployment rate, surpassing by more than 6 points the figures of Lithuania, which ranks third with 9.6%, followed by Sweden, with 8.8%, Latvia, with 8.5%, or France, with 7.9%, while the lowest unemployment rate in the EU is held by Poland, with 3.1%, replacing the Czech Republic, where unemployment increased by one-tenth in January to 3.2%.
On the other hand, Spain continues to be the European country with the highest percentage of youth and female unemployment, although, in the case of unemployment among female workers, the Greek figures for November are almost 2 points higher than the 18.1% female unemployment rate recorded in Spain last January. Meanwhile, unemployment among Spanish under-25s fell by 8 tenths in the first month of 2021 to 39.9%, almost 6 points above the 34% recorded by Greece in November.
In fact, Spain is also the EU country with more young unemployed in gross terms, with 588,000, which means that 1 in 5 Europeans under 25 years of age who are unemployed is Spanish, a proportion that increases to 1 in 4 if only the 19 countries that share the single European currency are taken into account and that reflects how the Spanish labor market leads youth unemployment in the EU and the OECD since last September.
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