Employment minister Iago Negueruela (right) with Llorenç Pou, the director-general for employment and economic affairs.

02-02-2018@Iagonegue

Employment minister Iago Negueruela said yesterday that employment continues to be created even in the low season. He was responding to the latest figures which show a 4.4% increase in the number of people signed on with social security in January. This meant 17,360 more people on the register. The total of some 410,000, observed the dirrector-general for employment, Llorenç Pou, represented a return to the type of number recorded before economic crisis.

Negueruela added that "employment is being created in winter because of seasonal tourism adjustment". In his view, everything points to the "dynamism" of the economy over the coming months. This will allow the pace of job creation to be higher than the national average.

As for unemployment, this fell in January by comparison with both December and January 2017. There were 62,719 unemployed at the end of the month, 650 fewer than in December and almost 4,000 fewer than twelve months before. The Balearics was one of only two regions where there was a drop in unemployment. In the Canaries the reduction of 0.18% was more modest than the Balearics 1.03%.

Nationwide the number of unemployed increased by 63,747, a rise mainly driven by the services sector and the end of the Christmas sales period. The total unemployed was 3,476,528. This was the lowest figure for the last eight years.

January is historically a poor month for employment statistics. Since the current records started in 1997, there has been no national reduction in unemployment in January. Over the past eight years, the average increase in unemployment has been almost 109,000. This year's figure is therefore well below the average, though it was up from the around 57,000 in January 2016 and January 2017. The peak was almost 200,000 in January 2009.

The highest increases in unemployment were in Madrid (up 11,766) and Andalusia (11,130).

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