The drop in unemployment during the month of April 2017 is historic; Spain is
the second largest global power in tourism
Unemployment in Spain dropped by 129,000 in April 2017. A historic drop, the biggest since the 1980s. Moreover membership in the Social Security rose by 212,216, bringing the number of Social Security contributors to 18 million, a figure that has not been seen since 2009.
Por comparar, el año pasado el paro bajó en 83.599 personas y la afiliación subió en 158.038 en abril.
No wonder the government of the ruling party, the Partido Popular, is simply euphoric. To them it is the vindication of their policy since they came to power in 2011.
However, the labor unions and the parties in the opposition are quick to remind the government that the jobs being created since the Spanish economy began to recover are precarious , unstable, seasonal, and low-paying.
They say that the “historic” figures are owing to the bonanza in Spanish tourism; April has been extra-special because of the Holy Week (Easter) occurring in that month. When the tourist season is over, what then?
The government says: even if the April figures were “de-seasonalized”, joblessness would still have droped by 70,777 people. A stunning drop.
Conference on Progress in Management
At the inauguration of the conference of the Association for Progress in Management on 4 May 2017, the very day the “historic drop” was publicized, Prime Minister Rajoy declared that “Spain can compete in talent” because its people are committed and determnined to be and because it is “a country of opportunities”.
After referring to the serious economic crisis that Spain went through in recent years, Rajoy underscored the fact as he sees it: “Things are very different” now; while in the past “there was a recession . . .Spain is now the country with the fastest rate of growth among the major European economies.”
He finds the unemployment figures for April “truly encouraging” because “unemployment has fallen, the largest fall in unemployment in any month on record”. He added that “if we do things well, we could see many very good unemployment figures over the course of the coming months and years.”
Moreover, not only “do we have the lowest unemployment rate in the last eight years,” Rajoy says, but the Social Security figures “are also wonderful.” In April, there were 212,000 new contributors and, in year-on-year terms, the numbers rose to 658,387. The President of the Government stressed that these are “very positive” figures since, for the first time since 2009, the Social Security system now has more than 18 million contributors.
Fiscal consolidation and reforms
Rajoy foresees the Spanish economy growing in 2017 by “at least” 2.7%, 2.5% in the next four years, with an annual creation of 500,000 jobs on average.
But in order to achieve these goals, Rajoy says it is necessary “to stick to fiscal consolidation policies”; when the deficit is low more jobs will be created, more resources available and the levels of wealth and well-being will rise.”
Spain is determined to meet the public deficit target set at 3.1% in 2017, he says.
Spain, country of talent and opportunities
On thre subject of “Can Spain Compete in Talent?” which was the theme of the Conference organized by the Association for Progress in Management, Rajoy stressed that Spain can indeed “compete in talent” because of the Spaniards’ “commitment, determination, drive and effort,” all of which have made what Spain is today.” that is, one of the “most important nations in the world” and “a country of opportunities.”
He pointed out that Spain
(1) is one of the leading countries both in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income;
(2) has a welfare model “that few countries can boast of”;
(3) is the second largest global power in tourism (in 2016, there were 75 million inbound tourists); and
(4) Spanish investment overseas represents 46% of Spanish GDP.
Featured Image, Puerto Banus, Marbella: TimOve via Flickr, cc by2.0
Employees: Ministry of Employment and Social Security
Rajoy: Pool Moncloa/Diego Crespo