Rise in jobless
January 6 2004, MADRID - The number of people out of work rose by more than 23,000 last year, it was reported Monday.
January 6 2004
MADRID - The number of people out of work rose by more than 23,000 last year, it was reported Monday.
The Ministry of Employment said the total number of unemployed in Spain was 1,711,487 - or 9.04 percent of the working population.
Government spokesmen said the rise of 23,419 in 2003 was five times less than the increase in 2002 when numbers went up by 113,224.
The Ministry of Employment said in a statement this change "reflects a considerable improvement".
But opposition parties and the unions cricitised the way the Government presented the figures in a positive way.
They claimed the reality was that Spain still has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the European Union.
In December, the number of people registered for social security fell by 277,340. This meant that during 2003 as a whole, the total number of people registered was 16,589,561 – more than forecasted. Those paying social security are working.
Last year, 401,171 more people were registered as employed - an average of 33,000 each month or 1,099.
The Ministry of Employment also said there was a large rise in the number of women working compared to the number of men.
In 2003, there was a rise of 4.28 percent in the number of female workers, whereas the increase in the male workforce was only 1.31 percent.
The smallest rises in unemployment were in the service sector (1.86 percent) and in agriculture (2.5 percent).
But, in contrast, jobless levels were highest in the construction industry, where there were 31,551 more people out of work and also in manufacturing where 10,421 more lost their jobs.
There were also regional differences in unemployment.
The biggest fall in the numbers of jobless came in the provinces of Andalucia, Madrid and Aragon.
It is thought that tourism has brought many of the jobs in Andalucia.
But the Opposition criticised the Government for the latest unemployment figures.
Jordi Sevilla, employment spokesman for the left-wing PSOE party, said the fall in the numbers registered for social security was the biggest decrease in the last 20 years.
Sevilla also claimed that since March 2000, there were 83,000 more people without jobs in Spain.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news