Economists find the most troubling element of Spain’s unemployment total jumping to a record 27.2 percent is that almost a third of those jobless have been out of work for more than two years.
In addition the experts say more than half of the huge army of unemployed have very low levels of education and limited skills. That will make it difficult for them to benefit from a recovery when it does come.
The jobless rate, which was just under eight percent of the workforce in mid-2007, has risen relentlessly since Spain’s labour-intensive property boom collapsed in 2008.
A massive 57.2 percent of young people – those aged 16 to 24 – are jobless.
Thomas Costerg, European Economist with Standard Chartered, doesn’t see an improvement soon: “The economy is still struggling and another worry is that the housing and construction sector are still struggling; house prices are still down, they’re not recovering and that’s in stark contrast to what’s happening in the United States.”
Spain has slipped in and out of recession for the past five years, but the government is predicting that Spain will return to growth, boosting the labour market.
However many are not waiting for that; the population fell last year for the first time on record as young people and immigrants who came to Spain to work in the once booming construction industry flee the crisis.