Spain’s unemployment rate soared to record highs in April with over 4 million Spaniards out of work. According to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics’ April figure, the unemployment rate was 17.4%.
The statistics in the first quarter of 2009, revealed the biggest quarterly jump in unemployment since 1976. With the amount of Spanish people without a job doubling in just a year.
Just weeks later, Tuesday 5th May, the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Immigration reports the latest number of unemployed at 3,644,880 with “only” 40,000 people losing their job in April. The Spanish media has reported an “easing” in the soaring unemployment as well as a “not so bad picture”, with some even claiming that “the rhythm of the slowdown has come to a halt”.
What most media reports fail to point out is that in April, the unemployment figure was recorded at just over 4,000,000 hitting a 17.4% unemployment rate – so where did the difference go?
Some government officials address the “easing in the slowdown” to the government plan to create 400,000 local public work jobs… Other sources claim the plan is creating 200,000 jobs. In the meantime, the opposition is raising concern over complacency, pointing out that such a downward trend doesn’t just come to a sudden grinding halt.
Or is the real truth buried under the bureaucratic system in Spain? 1,000,000 people on unemployment benefit in Spain were due to expire in May. So they basically just no longer appear in the statistics. The exact figure as El Pais unveils is 1,033,224 people which no longer receive unemployment benefits and thus no longer appear in the statistics.