Spain’s unemployment rises amid new COVID outbreaks, tourist restrictions

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The number of registered unemployed people in Spain rose in August as new outbreaks of the coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed by other countries began taking a toll after months of timid recovery from an initial lockdown.

The number of jobless people rose by 0.79% in August, bringing the total of people out of work in Spain to 3.80 million people and bringing to a halt a positive trend that began in May when Spain began emerging from its strict lockdown.

The pace of job creation in Spain stagnated in August, with only 6,822 more people with a formal working contract and contributing to social security in the month, down from 161,000 in July, the social security minister said on Wednesday.

There were about 740,000 more jobless people in Spain in August than in the same month in 2019. The lockdown prompted by the coronavirus erased some 900,000 jobs in March.

After the three-month lockdown ended in late June, Spain’s economy gradually revived in July but new outbreaks of the coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed by various European countries have ravaged the crucial tourism season.

Spending on unemployment benefit fell to 3.2 billion euros in July, as the number of workers registered in the furlough scheme fell by 27% to 812,438.

The government will only release furloughed worker data for August in October. 

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