The Secretary of State for Employment, Juan Pablo Riesgo. | Chema Moya


Registered unemployment in the Balearics fell last year to 75,784 unemployed. Data from the national ministry for employment and social security show that the number unemployed in December was almost 10% lower than December 2014 and that the number who had come off the unemployment register was 7.776. By comparison with November, the figure for December showed a decrease of close to two per cent, or 1,403 no longer signed on.

At a national level, there was also good news, or rather encouraging figures. The number of Spaniards registered as unemployed fell by 55,790 in December, decreasing for a second month as businesses hired staff for the Christmas period, adding credence to acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s job creation pledges. The decline was higher than the 50,000 drop forecast by economists.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of unemployed fell by 1,258, the employment minstry said today. Overall, joblessness declined by 354,203 on an annual basis. Social security sign-ups - a measure of new staff hiring - rose by 85,314, the biggest increase on record, the ministry said.

From a year ago, the number of Spaniards with a job rose has risen by 533,186 taking the total to 17 million. Reacting to the figures, Rajoy said while the trend has changed for the better, there is still more to do.

“There are fewer unemployed people now than when we arrived to government and social security sign-ups have been rising for two years,” he said in an interview on COPE radio, adding that the “best” outcome for the recovery to continue is for Spain to form a stable government led by his Partdio Popular.

Despite positive indicators, Spain is heading for political turbulence after the 20 December election vote produced an inconclusive result, leaving Rajoy few options to form a government despite winning the most votes. An extended period of uncertainty could damp economic sentiment and delay investment decisions, according to Geoffrey Minne, an economist at ING Bank in Brussels.

“A potential gridlock could lead to higher Spanish bond yields, but could also be a drag on consumer and business confidence,” Minne said.

And even after last year’s drop, Spanish unemployment is still the highest in the eurozone after Greece’s, with the under-25s the hardest hit.