Tuesday, May 04, 2010

THERE'S A GREEN SHOT in Spain's employment numbers for April. Or is there? On the one hand, "Jobless claims in Spain registered a 0.6% fall in April, or 24,188 less than the prior month, leaving the total number of unemployed at 4,142,425, the Employment Ministry said on Tuesday. It was the first fall in jobless claims in eight months."

On the other, this number comes without seasonal adjustment. Buried in the government report itself is the fact that with that adjustment -- it's the start of the tourism season --, jobless claims would have risen by almost 62,800 (pdf, page 7, in Spanish). There's also almost half a million (link in Spanish) who are not listed as jobless because they're taking a course, or who are listed by the Labor department as "unemployed with limited availability" or as people who are currently working but enroll at the unemployment agency because they want to find a better job (of course, the notion that anyone would try to get a promotion via the unemployment office is difficult to believe).

UPDATE. I mistakenly wrote that the jobless claims number announced by the government this morning was with seasonal adjustment and that without it the figures look much worse. It's the opposite; I fixed it. Sorry for the mistake.

Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was forced to deny market rumours his country would ask for €280bn from the European Union, something he described as "complete madness".

But Spain's stock market has lost nearly 5% today, while Germany's DAX is down more than 2% and France's CAC is around 3% lower. Portugal's PSI 20 is also down around 4%, while the cost of protecting the debt of a number of European countries has also jumped."