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Spain – New action plan for jobs announced

26 July 2013

The Ministry of Employment and Social Security announced the new Annual Plan for Employment Policy on Wednesday. To be implemented and run in each of the 17 autonomous communities, the action plan includes 350 results-driven measures and actions aimed at improving the current state of joblessness across the country.

Some of the 350 measures and actions will be rolled-out across each of the autonomous communities; however others will be regionally tailored. The focus will be on six primary areas; orientation, training, employment opportunities, equal opportunities, entrepreneurship, and improving the institutions framework of the National Employment System.    

A series of 22 indicators will be established to measures the successes and failures of the employment policy. Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo explained that the new plan will be “more effective, more efficient, and results oriented”. The plan aims to optimise the use of public resources for the purpose of finding work for unemployed people as soon as possible.

The employment plan is the first of many proactive steps being implemented by the Spanish government in order to curb record levels of unemployment. An activation strategy for employment and the development of regulations of employment services and training are scheduled to be introduced in future.

The number of people unemployed in Spain has already fallen by 225,200 to 5,977,500 during the second quarter of 2013, according to a recent survey by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). The unemployment rate dropped -0.9% from the first quarter, now standing at 26.26%. When compared with the same period last year, unemployment levels during Q2 2012 rose 53,500.

Unemployment fell across all autonomous communities, with the greatest declines notes in Madrid (38,400 fewer unemployed persons), the Balearics (38,300), Andalucía (33,300), and Catalonia (29,300). Decreases were noted in all sectors; with the Services industry reported the biggest fall with 157,900 fewer people unemployed. Declines were also noted in the Industrial sector where unemployment fell by 37,500, in the Construction sector by 25,500, and in Agriculture where unemployment fell by 24,200.

Unemployment levels increase for those who were seeking their first job, increasing by 23,500. However, it decreased for those who had lost their job over a year ago by 3,500.

According to Eurostat, Spain has the highest unemployment levels in Europe with 26.9%, more than double the Eurozone average of 12.2%, and the European Union average of 11%.

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