The Partido Popular believe that their record of reducing the number of people out of work is sufficient evidence that they have honoured one of their main election pledges and therefore deserve to lead a new coalition government.
But, as those who watched the election debates in the run up to Spain going to the polls on 20 December will have seen, the issue of jobs is a very controversial one, which all sides feel very passionate about. Yes, more people are in work but on what kind of contracts and salaries? Much can be read into figures and, of course, those we get only account for those officially registered as unemployed. So neither we nor the seat-warming government have any idea of how many people are really out of work. On the flip side, one in five people are still registered as unemployed and Spain is still down there with Greece in the employment league.
And analysts have warned that the PP can harp on about the fall in unemployment, but the news risks being overshadowed by the current political paralysis gripping Spain as Prime Minister Rajoy struggles to form a government following the inconclusive elections that saw the PP lose its absolute majority.
The employment ministry said the number of unemployed dropped nearly eight percent last year from 2014 to 4.04 million, the largest annual decline since 1996. “The trend is very good,” Rajoy said. But is anyone listening?