The number of jobs has fallen by one million in Spain, including more than 800,000 in services, a sector where tourism plays a major role.

The Covid-19 pandemic destroyed more than a million jobs in Spain in the second quarter, the vast majority in services and the tourism industry, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

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The unemployment rate climbed to 15.3% in the second quarter from 14.4% in the first, bringing the number of unemployed to 3.37 million, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). But this figure, which represents an increase of 55,000 unemployed compared to the previous quarter, is very clearly underestimated, because about 1.1 million people have been classified “inactive”, recognizes the INE.

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An undervalued figure

The confinement and closure of many businesses “prevented” these people from looking for work and therefore did not meet the criteria required to be counted among the unemployed, explains the public body.

In addition, the official number of unemployed does not include the massive number of people who have been partially or technically unemployed during this second quarter, which took place almost entirely in a context of total or partial confinement of Spain.

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The number of jobs has fallen by one million, including more than 800,000 in services, a sector where tourism plays a major role. The number of hours worked has experienced “an unprecedented drop” of nearly 23% compared to the previous quarter, said INE.

Due to the weight of tourism in the Spanish economy (12% of GDP), which already had a large number of precarious jobs, the impact of the pandemic on unemployment promises to be particularly violent. The government expects 19% unemployment by the end of 2020 and the International Monetary Fund on 20.8%.