Great Reboot

Spain logs first fall in unemployment since February

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing protective gloves takes pictures of an information board outside a government job center closed for the public during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain registered in July its first drop in jobless claims since February as more businesses began to reopen their doors after months of coronavirus lockdown, data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday.

The number of people in Spain registering as jobless fell by 2.33% in July from a month earlier, or by 89,849 people, marking the biggest July drop since 1997, the ministry said.

Still, 3.77 million people remain out of work across the country and overall, there were 761,601 more jobless people in July than in the same month a year ago.

“The rise in hiring, double April’s number, indicates a strong recovery in activity,” Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz tweeted.

Unemployment fell across all sectors apart from agriculture which saw a 5.9% rise due to the end of fruit-picking seasons.

The number of jobless people had risen in June by 0.13% even as the nationwide lockdown came to an end.

Around 712,000 Spaniards left the country’s ERTE furlough scheme, the social security ministry said separately, meaning around two thirds of furloughed workers have now left the program.

Reporting by Maria Gonçalves; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Ingrid Melander