Friday, July 03, 2009

Spain's unemployment dole is gradually decreasing but the country is not out of the woods just yet.

The number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits in Spain fell for the second straight month, dropping by 55,250 in June, according to government figures published on Thursday. The Labor Ministry said the decline left the total of jobless people at 3,564,889 and marked the first time since mid-2007 that the figure has gone down two months in a row.
Too bad that these figures wear more makeup than the late Michael Jackson.

First of all, if you look at the seasonal effect the number of people filing for unemployment is still up. By only 107, true, but they're still up.

Second, because that number doesn't include some groups that may not be officially asking for unemployment benefits but are not working either: people looking for their first job, unemployed workers attending government-paid courses for career development, etc. That's about five hundred thousand more.

And finally because, also in June, the number of workers affiliated to Social Security went down by a whopping 182.000. This means they're 182.000 who are not working anymore. The only thing that could reconcile this with the 55.000 people not filing for unemployment benefits in the same month would be if the labor force was shrinking, but it's not the case.