During August, the number of register unemployed people in Spain rose after new outbreaks of COVID-19 and the imposition of travel restrictions by other countries began to have an effect on the country after several months of slow economic recovery.
The rate of unemployment in Spain rose by 0.79% during August, thus pushing up the national total of unemployed people to 3.8 million, ending the positive trend that started in May when Spain started emerging from one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.
The hardest-hit region was the tourism-dependent Balearic Islands, registering a staggering 3% rise in unemployment, mainly due to the impact that the pandemic has had on travel, forcing several countries to restrict travel to Spain.
The rate at which jobs were being created in Spain during August stagnated, with only 6,822 more people with a formal working contract and also contributing to social security during the month, which was compared to the increase of 161,000 in July, according to the social security minister on Wednesday.
When compared to August of the previous year, Spain had around 740,000 more unemployed people this year, with the lockdown in March leading to around 900,000 people losing their jobs in March alone.
Once the three-month lockdown ended in late June, Spain’s economy started to recover very gradually during July, yet new outbreaks of the virus as well as travel restrictions have hit the tourism industry very badly, especially during the extremely important tourism season.
According to the latest data available, spending on unemployment benefits decrease to €3.2 billion during July, allowing the government to shift its funds towards other initiatives.
Secretary of State for Employment Joaquin Perez told a news conference that “The travel restrictions by European countries have had an impact on unemployment data,” with plenty of the people that have now registered as unemployed being in the services sector.
The number of workers that registered in Spain’s ERTE furlough scheme decreased by 27% to 812,438 during August, a very sharp decline.
Ever since the end of the lockdown measure in June, Spain has continued to suffer from a very sharp increase in cases with measures being relaxed and mass testing starting, which has led to the daily number of infections coming close to the peak reached in March.
Spain currently has 470,973 total cases of coronavirus, which is the highest in all of Europe, also having 29,152 deaths.