The end of the COVID-19 lockdowns did not manage to boost employment in either Italy or Spain, two of the most heavily impacted countries during the pandemic.
In Italy, the unemployment rate rose to 7.8% in May, from the revised 6.6% of the month before, with around 84,000 jobs being lost, according to the national statistics bureau ISTAT on Thursday.
May is the third straight month that showed an increase in job losses due to the pandemic that managed to surge throughout February, March and April.
The Italian government made use of strict lockdown measures in order to try and contain the infections, yet consequently, these measures continued to restrain the economy, with plenty of firms shutting down in March and April.
Whilst the jobless rate fell during March and April as people were not looking for work, the rise in May is a reflection of the end of the lockdown, with several Italians seeking to return to the labour market once more.
Up until the outbreak of COVID-19, Italy had managed to improve its very stagnant economy, and the pandemic has only continued to hurt the economy even more, with the gross domestic product falling by 5.3% in the first quarter of 2020, the largest drop since the recording of the data began in 1995.
In Spain, the end of the lockdown brought about a similar effect, with there being a rise of 0.13% in jobless people in June from that of May, according to the Labour Ministry’s data that was published on Thursday.
This meant that the rise was only by 5,017 people, with 3.86 million still being jobless.
Spain’s economy suffered greatly during the pandemic, with over 900,000 jobs being lost, yet these still have not been regained.
The rate of jobless people has already risen by 0.68% in May.
In total, there were 847,197 more jobless people in June this year, than there were last year, with a net total of 99,906 jobs being lost throughout last month.
The Social Security Ministry confirmed that an average of 68,208 new jobs were registered in June when compared to May, yet a staggering 161,500 people managed to be fired by the last day of the month.
Whilst the ending of the lockdowns should have given these two economies boosts, the wariness regarding the pandemic, as well as financial limitations have left firms with no other choice other than to fire plenty of workers.