A decrease in unemployment takes place in February, following the significant increase in January. Specifically, it drops by 7,806 people, compared to the rise in the same month of 2019 of 3,279 people, and in line with the declines produced in February 2017 and 2018, of 9,355 and 6,280 unemployed, respectively, according to data released today by the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy.

In this way, unemployment remains above three million, at 3,246,047 people. In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment is reduced by 19,043 people.

Considering the interannual data, the balance of the last twelve months highlights a drop in unemployment in 42,993 registered unemployed, with an interannual rate that rises to -1.31%, from 0.97% in January.

As for the Social Security affiliation data, especially significant to follow the evolution of our labor market, they reflect an increase over the previous month in 85,735 people.

We are, therefore, faced with the second highest growth recorded in this month since 2008, after the one produced in 2015 with 96,909 more contributors. In addition, it grows in seasonally adjusted terms in 56,157 people.

The number of employed affiliates stands at 19,250,229, the highest number recorded in the series one month of February.

It is positive that in annual terms, membership increases by 361,757 people. In this way, the positive interannual rate stands at 1.92%.

With respect to the total number of contracts registered, in the month of February it experienced an increase over the same month of the previous year of 1.51%, 23,746 more contracts. Thus, the number of contracts signed in February is 1,594,763.

General scheme

With respect to the previous month, the data highlights the increases especially in hospitality -26,184 more employed-, construction -26,035 more-, education -21,026 more- and manufacturing industry -10,001 affiliates in high plus-. As for the declines, it is worth highlighting those produced in commerce, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles -13,529 less- and health activities and social services -3,347 less-.

In addition, in year-on-year terms all sectors show positive variations, except financial and insurance activities; household activities; supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning; and extractive industries.

The greatest growth, in interannual terms, within the General Regime, takes place in health activities and social services -94,875-; hospitality -47,314-; trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles -31,439-; and professional, scientific and technical activities -30.234-.

The unemployment, hiring and Social Security affiliation data for the month of February deserve a positive appreciation, although they must be assessed with caution, taking into account that we are starting from a particularly negative labor market behavior in recent months. In addition, all indications and studies, including government forecasts, point to downward growth reviews, in line with uncertainty in the global environment and future tax and labor framework reforms yet to be defined.

In this context of deceleration, it is necessary to avoid measures aimed at increasing the pressure of business taxation and limiting the ability of companies to adapt to global environments, which could act as an accelerator of the economic and employment slowdown.

>> Labor Market Observatory-March 2020

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