The 4 keys to the April unemployment data

More employment and much more stable. The labor market recorded good employment data in April and broke a couple of records. Never before has Spain exceeded the level of 20 million active workers and never have so many permanent contracts been signed: 1 out of every 2 new employees enters as permanent. The campaign of Holy Week supported the affiliation data published this Wednesday by the Ministries of Labor and Social Security.

Despite the fact that the rise in inflation and the war in Ukraine raised some alarms last month, with a certain slowdown in employment growth and the reduction in unemployment, this April the indicators have once again made good headlines. The paro has dropped with some vigor, to its highest level in the last three years and the group of self-employed continued to add new members, despite the reluctance to undertake business ventures with the multiple uncertainties that hang over the economy.

1. Contracts: 1 out of every 2 new contracts are permanent

The main headline in April’s employment data has been the unprecedented rise in permanent contractboosted by the entry into force of the new modalities of the labor reform. 1 out of 2 contracts signed were fixed, when the usual thing until now in the labor market was that this proportion was 1 out of 10. This coverage of the hiring reaches all groups, maintaining that 1/2 in men, women and the group of young people. And this increase in permanent contracts comes without a drop in the number of contracts signed, in fact, 6.9% more contracts were signed than in April last year.

However, this statistic has a certain statistical ‘trick’, since it is fed by the use of figures such as the discontinuous fixed, which are statistically qualified as indefinite, but have high traces of temporality. Well, this contract is used by employees linked to a company in a stable way but who work only a few weeks or months a year, when they are called before peaks of activity or seasonal tasks. As an example, of the almost 700,000 permanent contracts signed this April, 284,732 were full-time and 413,914 part-time.

2. Employment: Spain exceeds 20 million employed for the first time

As the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, has already advanced, the labor market in April surpassed for the first time in its history the level of 20 million workers active. Employment grew by 184,577 employees this April compared to March, boosted by the hiring of Holy Week. The hotel industry was the sector that pulled the most employment, contributing a positive balance of Social Security affiliates of 110,000 newly employed. Transport (+11,510) and commerce (+9,115) also contributed, although to a lesser extent, until consolidating that level of 20.01 million active workers.

If the data published last week by the Active Population Survey (EPA) reflected that in the Spanish economy more hours were already being worked than were worked, as a whole, before the pandemic, the Social Security affiliation data published This Wednesday they corroborate it. The number of workers affected by a erte It stabilized at 17,000 people, a figure substantially lower than the 100,000 affected in the last month of the covid ertes and far from the peak of 3.4 million affected reached during the first months of the pandemic.

3. Unemployment: the best April since 2019

The paro has dropped this April compared to March by 86,260 people, to a total of three million unemployed. Although the start of the ukrainian war generated some alarm, since it coincided with a certain slowdown in that reduction in unemployment, this April clears those doubts by registering its biggest drop since 2019. Spain continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire European Unioneven though in the last year it has managed to reduce that level of unemployed by almost a million people.

The reduction in unemployment has not been the same between men and women during the last year and the former leave unemployment faster than the latter. Year-on-year, male unemployment fell by 25.1%, compared to 21% for women.

4. Self-employed: little by little they continue to grow

The collective of self-employed, which has been showing great resilience since the start of the pandemic -favored by the covid aid provided by the Government-, once again recorded another month with growth “slowly, but steadily”. Social Security statistics reflect an increase of 9,100 new self-employed workers compared to March, a slightly lower rate than last year. However, this resilient growth means that there are 39,704 more self-employed in Spain than a year ago, up to a consolidated total of 3.3 million active self-employed.

The multiple uncertainties about the future future of the economy do not contribute to encourage entrepreneurship. But despite the increase in the cost of supplies and raw materials that the organizations of the group have been denouncing, it continues to grow and does not lose troops.


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