Spain is approaching 21 million members after a good Easter

It has been a very rainy Easter, but the rain has not prevented March from closing with excellent results in terms of employment.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
02 April 2024 Tuesday 11:22
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Spain is approaching 21 million members after a good Easter

It has been a very rainy Easter, but the rain has not prevented March from closing with excellent results in terms of employment. Good data in general, as the membership figures exceed 20.9 million, a number that some time ago seemed impossible, and with a star day in particular, Holy Monday, March 25, when for the first time once exceeded the figure of 21 million affiliates. To be exact, 21,002,836 appeared in the registry that day.

March has received an additional boost because it included the whole of Easter. This is also why employment in the tourism sector provided by these holidays, which mean the opening of the pre-summer season, has been favored, which is very favorable to job creation.

In the data for the month, the 193,585 additional Social Security members stand out, making it the second best March in the historical series. This increase allows it to place the total number of affiliates very close to 21 million; specifically, there are 20,901,967 affiliates on average per month.

An additional endorsement of these data is that, if we apply the seasonally adjusted figures, that is to say if we remove the calendar effect and seasonality, then the March average already exceeds the ceiling of 21 million members for the first time. It stands at 21,032,661.

The approach to 21 million affiliates is something that could be seen coming. The Social Security itself put this forward to the social agents in a meeting two weeks ago, although without specifying precise dates for when the record would be reached. This approximation was verified in March and the figure can be exceeded before the summer, as the coming months are traditionally very positive for employment.

The 193,000 employed more than in February is the second largest increase for this month of the year, only surpassed by the 206,000 in March 2023, and is well above the average of the pre-pandemic years, when between 2017 and 2019 the increase was around 150,000 employed.

If examined by sector, membership is growing in all, but the impact of those related to tourism is particularly noticeable, such as hospitality, with 81,000 new jobs, and commerce, with 13,000. Between the two, they account for half of the new jobs in March.

"In an international scenario that is really not conducive to economic growth, the fact that the Spanish labor market offers these signs of strength month after month proves that there has been a great transformation in the structure", stated the Secretary of State Occupation, Joaquín Pérez Rey, in the presentation of the data.

The Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security also points out that the percentage of affiliates with an indefinite contract stands at 87.3%, which represents its historical maximum, leaving the temporary rate at 12.7%. For those younger than 30, temporary employment remains higher, but the rate of decline is also more intense, so that it has gone from 53% before the labor reform to the current 19.4%.

"It is not just that a lot of employment is created, what we see is that the quality of employment continues to improve, it is not an exaggeration to talk about the definitive correction of an anomaly", said the Secretary of State for Security Social, Borja Suárez.

In terms of unemployment, March has meant a significant reduction in unemployment that has been recorded. There are 33,405 fewer unemployed than the previous month, which leaves the total number at 2,727,003, the lowest figure for a March since 2008. Services, with 31,000 fewer unemployed, account for 95% of the total reduction in unemployment

This decrease in unemployment is lower than in March of last year, when it decreased by 48,000, and is also below the pre-pandemic average, from 2017 to 2019, when it decreased by 43,000 unemployed . In addition, if the seasonally adjusted data is examined, unemployment rose by 11,900 people in March. The Ministry of Labor emphasizes the increase in the active population in Spain, which makes it difficult to maintain the rate of unemployment reduction when the number of applicants to enter the labor market increases.

By autonomous communities, unemployment is only up in the Basque Country and Madrid. On the other hand, the biggest drop is in Andalusia, with 11,000 fewer, followed by the Canary Islands, Valencia, Castile and Leon, Castilla-La Mancha and Catalonia, among others. In March, 1.1 million contracts were signed, of which 504,000 (44.94%) were of an indefinite nature. Of this type of recruitment, 45% were full-time; 25%, part-time, and 30%, intermittent fixed.