The end-of-year figure is almost 8 per cent lower in Alicante than in 2015
The traditional increase in temporary employment over Christmas and the New Year resulted in the number of people registered as out of work in the province of Alicante falling by 1,713 (or 1%) during December, bringing the figure down to 170,046, according to the data published on Wednesday by the Ministry of Employment.
At the same time, the December decrease means that during 2016 as a whole the total fell by 14,373, or 7.79%, a drop which is broadly in line with the trend for Spain as a whole: across the country the December decrease of almost 87,000 reduced the total to 3,702,974, according to the data published on Wednesday by the Ministry of Employment.
During 2016 the national total fell by over 390,000, or 9.54%, and although it has to be remembered that Spain still has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU it is worth pointing out that this is the largest annual decrease on record in this country. In consequence, the total is now at its lowest level for seven years, indicating that Spain is continuing to emerge gradually from the years of economic crisis, and the situation has improved markedly since a total of over 4.8 million was reached at the end of 2012.
Other signs of improvement, according to the Ministry’s press release, include the fact that the number of under-25s registered as unemployed has fallen by 13.9% during the last 12 months.
During December the figures fell in 13 of Spain’s 17 regions, the most significant improvements being those recorded in Andalucía (4.3%), Madrid and the Canary Islands (both 2.7%) and the Region of Murcia (2.65%), while the largest increase was in Navarra (2.9%). However, in the whole of 2016 there were marked decreases in all of the Autonomous Communities, the most significant being in La Rioja (13.1%), Catalunya (12%), Castilla y León and the Balearic Islands (both 11.7%).
The monthly unemployment figures produced by the Ministry are lower than those in the quarterly Active Population Survey (APS) because they do not take into account those who are out of work but have opted not to register at employment offices. The latest APS, for the third quarter of 2016, places the figure at 4.32 million.