THE coronavirus has made March the worst month in Spain’s history for job losses.
Social Security Ministry figures released today Thursday reveal the number of people out of work nationally by the end March was a whopping 303,265 higher than in February.
The worst figure up until now was for January 2009 in the middle of the financial crash, when 198,838 people joined the dole queues.
The Covid-19 health crisis is also impacting on Social Security affiliation, which by the last day of March had lost 833,979 contributors.
March is usually a good month for employment in Spain. At the beginning of last month the number of people contributing to Social Security went up by 68,843, but between March 12 and 31 affiliation plummeted by 898,822.
By sector, the biggest falls from March 12 onwards were in construction (17.08 per cent), hospitality (14.27 per cent), administrative activities and assistance services (8.91 per cent), education (5.24 per cent) and transport and storage (4.76 per cent).
The mass mobilisation of human resources in Spain’s health sector however pushed up the number of people in the field contributing to Social Security by 7,085.
The number of employees affected by ERTE temporary employment regulations (a mechanism which allows companies to suspend job contracts or to reduce employee working hours due to force majeure in order to relieve financial tension), totalled 258,645.
Affiliation to Social Security dropped particularly in temporary contracts (17.3 per cent), while in regard to indefinite contracts there was a two per cent fall.
By region, the greatest reductions were registered in Andalucia (6.64 per cent), the Canary Islands (6.24 per cent), Murcia (5.07 per cent), and the Valencian Community (5.75 per cent) due to the paralysis in the tourism sector.
The terrible figures for March put Spain’s current jobless total at 3,548,312, according to the SEPE State Employment Service. In the first 12 days of last month the number registering as jobseekers increased by 2,857 people, but the impact of the state of alarm saw unemployment rise by 9.31 per cent by March 31.
There were jobless rises in all Spain’s 17 regions. Andalucia had the highest increase (138,569), followed by the Valencian Community (35,565), and Cataluña (21,833).