Spanish unemployment falls to pre-crisis levels

SEEKING WORK: Unemployment levels in Spain are now back to those seen at the beginning of the recession SEEKING WORK: Unemployment levels in Spain are now back to those seen at the beginning of the recession Flickr

THE number of people seeking work in Spain stood at almost 3.5 million at the end of January, according to government data.

Spending on unemployment reached more than €17 billion in 2017, the lowest amount since 2007.

The amount of those enrolled with the Public Employment Service was at its lowest level since 2009, around the time the last economic crisis began.

The Spanish government spent 44 per cent less on unemployment benefits than it did almost ten years ago, according to the Ministry of Employment.

Differences in spending were reportedly down in part to the number of people eligible to claim unemployment benefits falling. Around 58.6 per cent of those out of work received state subsidies last year compared to 80 per cent in 2009.

The number of those claiming benefits that have had to request additional state help was more than half (56 per cent) in 2017, compared to 30 per cent in 2009.

This was reportedly due to those who have been long-term unemployed exhausting their contributory benefits which means they had to request a government subsidy.

People claiming unemployment benefits spend less time receiving payments on average than they have done in previous years, which is another factor in spending being lower.

Claimants spent an average of 15.1 months receiving state help, compared to 15.8 in 2009 and 17.9 in 2013.

Joe Gerrard

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