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Spain closes 2023 with 21.2 million people working and the unemployment rate drops to 11.8%


One of the main shopping streets in Madrid around Christmas. (Eduardo Parra / Europa Press).

The labor market managed to create more employment in 2023 than in 2022 in a context of GDP deceleration. This is confirmed by the data from the Active Population Survey (EPA) published this Friday by the INE, which achieves this effect despite the fact that the number of employed people decreased by 19,000 people in the last three months of the year, an anomalous figure in dates marked by the rise in consumption around Christmas and leisure. The labor market closed 2023 with 21,246,900 employees, 783,000 more than in 2022which represents a job creation of 3.8% more than in that year.

He number of unemployed decreased by 24,600 people in the last three months and closed 2023 at 2,830,600 unemployed, 193,400 people less than the previous year. This represents the lowest number of unemployed for a fourth quarter since 2007, before the start of the financial crisis. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 11.76%, one tenth less than in the previous quarter.

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Refering to active population, people who are willing to work, reflects a positive evolution in annual terms, but a negative one in the last quarter. The number of active workers fell by 43,600 between October and December, to 24,077,400 people, but in the last year it increased by 589,600 people.

These data from the EPA must be framed in a quarter for which a slowdown in economic growth compared to the first half of the year. The data will be published by the INE next week along with a preview of global GDP growth in 2023, which the Government expects to be around 2.4% compared to 5.8% in 2022.

Most of the employment created in 2023 was generated by private sectorwith 715,900 new employees, more than 91% of the total, and the majority of the jobs generated went to full timewith an increase of 695,400 people, compared to 87,600 new part-time jobs.

However, both areas recorded a negative behavior in the last quarter of the year. As detailed by the INE, full-time employment decreased by 211,100 people between October and December and part-time employment increased by 192,100. Private employment decreased this quarter by 77,600 people, to 17,653,600 people, and public employment increased by 58,600, to 3,593,300 people employed.

The same happens with the households with all active members unemployed. They increased by 3,600 in the fourth quarter, to 932,400, but have decreased by 115,100 in annual comparison.

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