Sunday, September 24

Spain doubles the OECD unemployment rate

A SEPE office in Madrid. / EP

It drops two tenths in February but remains at 12.6%, and youth unemployment is close to 30%, tripling the common average

Edurne Martinez

The level of unemployment in the OECD has evolved very positively since the restrictions associated with the pandemic have been disappearing in all the countries that make up the institution. Thus, the February report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicates that the unemployment rate in its area has fallen below what it was before the pandemic, to 5.2%.

It represents one tenth less unemployment than in the month of January, which means falling for the first time in two years below pre-Covid levels. In total, the number of unemployed in the 37 countries that make up the OECD was 34.9 million in February, 700,000 fewer people than in February 2020, just before the global pandemic broke out.

But in Spain the level of unemployment is still at the top of the table. Our country registered an unemployment rate of 12.6% in February, two tenths less than in January. It means doubling the average rate of the EU (6.2%) and the OECD (5.2%) and tripling that of the G7 (4.2%). The only European country that resembles the level of unemployment in Spain is Greece, which in February registered a rate of 11.9%, one point less than the previous month. But Spain is far from surrounding countries such as France (7.4%), Germany (3.1%), Italy (8.5%) or Portugal (5.8%).

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By gender, the unemployment rate for women in Spain is three points higher than that for men, standing at 14.1% compared to 11.2%. At the EU level, the difference is not as marked, with a rate of 6.5% in European women compared to 5.9% in men.

But what continues to differentiate Spain from the rest of the powers is youth unemployment. Our country has an unemployment rate of 29.8% among those under 25 years of age. And although it is a level almost ten points lower than the one it presented in February 2020, before the pandemic, it means tripling the youth unemployment rate of the OECD as a whole (11.1%) and almost that of the EU and the eurozone , both at 14%.

War can make things worse

Beyond Spain, the downward trend of recent months in the eurozone is confirmed. The unemployment rate fell again in February to 6.8%, one tenth less than the previous month. It also highlights the fall of three tenths since January of youth unemployment to 14%.

In the OECD as a whole, where unemployment fell the most was in Canada (one point less, to 5.5%), Korea, Sweden and Turkey, although significant falls were also recorded in Australia, the United States and Japan. On the contrary, where it increased the most was in Colombia (3 tenths more, up to 12.5%), the Czech Republic and Mexico.

Despite these good data, the organization warns that the increase in global uncertainty and geopolitical tensions may worsen the situation.

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