Spanish unemployment drops as government renews commitment to furlough scheme

2 Oct 20

Three in four furloughed workers in Spain are back at work, according to figures released just days after the government committed to keep the scheme going for “as long as necessary”.

 

At the programme’s peak in April, more than three million people were enrolled, but according to government data 728,909 remained at the end of September, representing a drop of 76% in five months.

Employment minister Joaquin Perez said the September fall in unemployment, of 26,329 people (0.69% of the working population) was the biggest since 1996.

But with more than 400,000 fewer jobs now than one year ago, there is still some way to go before the employment situation returns to its pre-Covid-19 state.

Labour minister Yolanda Diaz said the furlough scheme would remain in place until it is no longer needed.

“The important thing about the programme is that it stays. It does not make sense to put an end date on it,” she told Spanish radio station IB3.

“I think the [scheme] should stay in place. For how long? As long as necessary.”

Under the programme, workers are provided with 70% of their base salary for up to six months, and 50% after that.

Between April and August, the government paid out €10.75bn.

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