Unemployment in Spain is the highest in Europe as a whole and even represents, in absolute figures, almost 30 percent of the total for the euro area.
According to data from the EU’s statistics agency (Eurostat) for November, average unemployment fell by a tenth in the Eurozone and in the EU as a whole since October, reaching a rate of 8.3 and 7.5 percent respectively.
However, unemployment in Spain rose from 16.2% to 16.4%, making Spain the leading country in terms of unemployment in the EU and the euro area as a whole, followed by Greece with 16.1% and Lithuania with 10.4%. The Czech Republic closes the list with 2.9%, below Poland (3.3%) and the Netherlands (4%). The youth unemployment rate is even bleaker for Spain at 40.9%, the highest in the whole EU and much worse than the EU (17.7%) and euro area (18.4%) averages.
In absolute figures, Eurostat reports a total of 15.93 million unemployed in the EU as a whole in November 2020 and 13.6 million in the Eurozone, with a decrease of 222,000 and 172,000 unemployed, respectively, compared to the previous month, although with an increase of 1.79 million in the Eurozone and 1.42 million in the EU compared to November 2019. In the case of Spain, the absolute number of unemployed is 3.76 million, 27.6% of the total number of unemployed in the Eurozone and well above France (2.58 million), Italy (2.23 million) and Germany (1.97 million).
According to the latest data from the Spanish State Employment Service (SEPE), unemployment increased by 22.9% in Spain throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting an end to seven consecutive years of falling unemployment and representing the largest annual increase since 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis. The absolute figures from the SEPE indicate a total of 3,888,137 unemployed at the end of the year, the highest since May 2016.