• The occupation stood at 18,607,200 people, with a decrease of 5.46% compared to the previous quarter
  • The number of unemployed increased by 55,000 people in the second quarter and the unemployment rate reached 15.33%
  • The measures of flexibility of the temporary employment regulation files (ERTEs) are allowing to keep the jobs
  • Job destruction continues to focus on temporary contract workers

The impact of COVID-19 and the containment measures adopted to contain the pandemic caused the number of people employed in the second quarter of the year to decrease by 1,074,000 people, 5.46%, standing at 18,607,200, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA), published today by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

In the last 12 months, as a consequence of COVID-19, there has been a destruction of employment that, in interannual terms, is 6.05%. Keep in mind that this decline has been concentrated exclusively during the pandemic.

The number of unemployed people increased by 55,000 in this period, to 3,368,000, and the unemployment rate stood at 15.33%.

Following the methodology of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), people included in temporary employment regulation files (ERTEs) are considered employed persons. However, the total number of effective hours worked in the second quarter has registered an unprecedented decrease of 22.59%, due to the limitation of economic activity.

Likewise, the decrease in employment has translated into an increase of 1,062,800 inactive people in the second quarter. This increase is mainly due to the unexpected difficulty of seeking employment.


In the second quarter of the year, the decrease in employment affected all economic sectors, continuing the trend of the previous quarter, in which the occupation data already reflected the first effects on employment of COVID-19. Services was the most affected sector, with 816,900 fewer employees; followed by Industry, with 127,000; Construction, with 108,700, and Agriculture, with 21,400.

In year-on-year terms, employment also fell in all sectors, with 922,200 less employed in Services, 112,300 in Industry, 107,300 in Construction and 45,900 in Agriculture.

The decrease in employment was also general in all the Autonomous Communities in the last quarter, with the exception of the Balearic Islands, where the number of employed persons increased by 9,200 people. The greatest falls occurred in Catalonia, with 223,700 fewer employees; Andalusia, with 198,100, and the Community of Madrid, with 184,400.

In the last year, there has been a decrease in employment in all the autonomous communities, with the exception of Ceuta and Melilla. The Communities that most reduce their occupation are Andalusia with 226,800 less, Catalonia with 203,600 and Valencian Community with 140,600.

The fall in employment in the second quarter continues to focus on workers with temporary contracts. While indefinite hiring was reduced by 361,400 people, which represents a reduction of 2.91%, the temporary did so by 671,900, with a drop of 16.22%.

This pattern is maintained in annual terms, with a decrease of 929,100 temporary workers and 232,200 workers with permanent contracts.

The decline in employment continues to affect women more than men. In the second quarter, the number of employed women decreased by 6.06%, compared to a decrease of 4.95% in men. In annual terms, the behavior was similar, with a reduction in female employment of 6.42% and 5.74% of male employment.


In the second quarter, the number of unemployed people increased by 55,000, to 3,368,000, which left the unemployment rate at 15.33%.

The data indicates that the flexibility measures of temporary employment regulation files (ERTEs) are proving effective in reducing the impact on employment and that it is less than that observed in previous crises.

By autonomous community, in quarter-on-quarter terms, the greatest increases in the number of unemployed occurred in Catalonia, with 61,300 more unemployed, Comunidad de Madrid, 54,500, and Comunidad Valenciana, 42,500. Conversely, there were decreases in unemployment in Andalusia, 48,200 fewer unemployed, Castilla-La Mancha, 20,900 and Extremadura, 15,000.

In annual terms, the greatest increases in unemployment were also registered in Madrid, with 62,900 more unemployed, the Valencian Community, 43,300 and Catalonia 41,700. They registered a reduction in the number of unemployed Andalucía 47,000 less, Canarias, 13,300 and Castilla La Mancha, -5,000.

By sector, the Services sector concentrated unemployment in the last quarter, with 199,000 more unemployed, and in the last twelve months, 385,900.

Source of the new