The war in Ukraine does not seem to have caused a setback in the figures of the labor market. Social Security gained 140,232 contributors in March, bringing the total number of affiliates to 19,834,304 workers. In this way, the rate of job creation remains at a strong 4.8% per year, according to data provided today by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. But the most significant figure, without a doubt, is that permanent hiring has skyrocketed again. With more than half a million landlines in March alone, they already account for one in three new hires last month (30.7%), a figure historically unknown in Spain. The shadow of these data comes, however, from registered unemployment, whose fall stopped dead in March, with just 3,000 fewer unemployed in the month, according to figures published today by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Having said all this, the department that he directs, José Luis Escrivá, prefers to use figures adjusted for seasonal variations, which better reflect the performance of the market and which, according to the data also released today, indicate a much more moderate gain in employment, with 23,998 more contributors in March, although the total number of affiliates would be higher, close to 20 million workers, the highest level in the historical series.
In these same seasonally adjusted terms, a certain slowdown in job creation would be observed, since in the years prior to the pandemic the monthly average was close to 50,000 new contributors, compared to 24,000 last March. But, in average terms, without correcting, the behavior of employment last month has been similar to other months of March prior to the pandemic crisis, “with hardly any impact derived from the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine”, they assure from this Ministry.
Although the Social Security recognizes that the pace of job creation has been confronted in the second half of the month in sectors such as transport -affected by the national strike of part of the group demanding measures to compensate for the rise in fuel prices–, the manufacturing industry or construction. Although in the Department directed by José Luis Escrivá, they assure that in the last week of the month this slowdown has been compensated with an improvement that has left the market in a habitual behavior for said month.
In fact, this slight cooling was also felt in registered unemployment, which rose in agriculture, with 1,568 more unemployed than in February; in industry, where 1,173 more were registered; and, above all, in construction (5,664). It also increased among the group without a previous job (6,764 more). But all these increases have been offset by the drop in unemployment in the services sector, from which 18,090 people left the unemployment lists in March. With this, the total number of registered unemployed remains at 3,108,763 unemployed. The adjusted behavior of unemployment also indicates an increase of 25,682 unemployed more than in February.
All in all, the seasonally adjusted figures indicate that the system accounts for almost half a million contributors (472,612 affiliates) more than in February 2020 just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. And in this improvement, the growth in employment stands out in some sectors with greater added value, such as communications or the scientific-technical professions, which have registered advances of 12.4% and 6.8%, respectively.
In March alone, the recovery experienced by the hospitality industry is especially noteworthy, which gained 71,219 contributors compared to the previous month, coinciding with the improvement in the pandemic situation and the progressive lifting of the measures limiting activity, especially indoors. This was felt in the territorial distribution of employment, since the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands led the recovery with strong monthly increases in their affiliation of 5.5% and 1.24% respectively.