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Spanish unemployment up in September despite brisk job creation

A record number of contracts are signed, but many of them are temporary

Unemployment office in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Sevilla).
Unemployment office in Sanlúcar la Mayor (Sevilla).

The Spanish job market is recovering at a brisk pace, but even that has not prevented unemployment from rising in September.

The good news is that Social Security affiliations, considered a measure of job creation, grew by an average of 12,025 for a total of 17.7 million contributors.

The data suggests a spike in temporary and seasonal work, which is a hallmark of the Spanish job market

The bad news is that 22,801 people registered as unemployed, bringing the total to 3.7 million, or 9.3% lower than a year ago, according to Labor Ministry figures.

This is one of the smallest increases in joblessness for a month of September, which is typically considered bad for employment.

The end of the summer season brought with it an expected rise in unemployment as the tourism sector shed jobs. The health sector also lost Social Security contributors.

Meanwhile, the start of the school year has meant new employment opportunities in education, as well as administrative activities and manufacturing.

The data suggests that temporary and seasonal work, a hallmark of the Spanish job market, is growing even in sectors that were not as prone to it in the past. This is the case with education and manufacturing, where non-permanent jobs have been rising in recent years.

The Labor Ministry notes that 1.9 million job contracts were signed in September, the highest figure in the historical series. However, this does not translate into stable jobs – if that were the case, in the space of two months there would hardly be anyone standing in line outside Spain’s unemployment offices.

English version by Susana Urra.

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