By Belén Carreño
MADRID, July 28 – Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 15,33% in the second quarter of the year, data from the National Statistics Institute showed on Tuesday, with many more people who lost their job in the coronavirus pandemic not included in the statistic.
The jobless rate rose in the second quarter compared with 14.41% in the previous quarter. It’s the highest since the first quarter of 2018.
Economists’ polled by Reuters had forecast Spain’s unemployment rate would rise more and reach 16.70%.
The data, however, does not show the whole extent of the crisis.
For one thing, workers who are in a furlough scheme are not included as unemployed in this survey. For the first time in an economic crisis, Spain has made massive use of employment protection schemes, known as ERTE, to limit the number of redundancies in the face of forced closure of economic activity.
Then, the National Institute of Statistics said in a statement that just over a million people lost their jobs during the quarter, but have not come to be considered unemployed since they did not meet the technical conditions to be included in this group, such as active job search. During the second quarter, Spain was one of the countries in the world hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, and it implemented one of the strictest lockdowns imposed in Europe from mid-March to June.
With data as of July 27, Spain has recorded a total of 278,782 cases and 28,434 deaths. (Reporting by Belén Carreño and Joanna Jonczyk-Gwizdala Editing by Ingrid Melander)