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Employment in Spain inching close to a historical high

But many of the new contracts are temporary while permanent ones continued to fall as part of an ongoing trend in 2019

Construction workers at a site in Madrid.
Construction workers at a site in Madrid.

After more than five years of job creation, Social Security affiliation in Spain is near a historical high.

There were 211,752 new contributors to the system in May for a total of 19.44 million, according to figures released by the Labor Ministry. That is just a few thousand shy of the record number posted in July 2007, one month before the first clear signs of the impending economic crisis.

Meanwhile, May unemployment fell by 84,075, for a total of 3,079,491 people without a job.

Nearly nine million job contracts were signed in the first five months of the year

May is typically one of the best months for the job market in Spain, together with April, June and July. This suggests that the Social Security affiliation record could be broken, even if the pace of job creation has slowed down a little.

The new contributors came from all sectors of the economy. The most relevant industry was the hospitality sector, which added 76,591 new workers.

Most new contributors were salaried employees, while the number of new self-employed workers grew much more slowly.

Nearly nine million job contracts were signed in the first five months of the year, a 2.34% rise from the previous period. But nearly 8.1 million of these were temporary contracts, while permanent ones continued to drop as part of an ongoing trend this year.

The government said that this is due to the elimination of permanent contracts with an option to fire the worker without compensation during the first year, an option that had been introduced in 2012 as part of a sweeping labor reform.

English version by Susana Urra.

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