Another week with good news for the job market. Social Security broke a new record in July with an average of 19,591,728 affiliates. It is the highest figure in history, surpassing that of July 2019, when Spain had 19.53 million. In other words, now there are about 60,000 more employed than then. However, the situation is very different: just look at the registered unemployment data, also published this Tuesday. If in July 2019 there were just over three million unemployed, now there are 3,416,498 unemployed. The evolution in this field is also positive, since unemployment ended July with 197,841 fewer unemployed than June, another absolute record for a single month. In total, there are 365,636 unemployed less than a year earlier.
In the figures known this Tuesday there are peculiarities derived from the pandemic that prevent ensuring that, despite the record affiliation, in Spain there are more people working than ever. The main one is the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE), a measure that has been widely used to protect employment and which in July had welcomed some 339,000 workers. The vast majority of them, roughly two to one, were full-time files. That is to say, workers who have not yet attended their jobs. And in situations similar to the ERTE there are 218,000 self-employed persons who in July needed to receive the special aid that Social Security has enabled due to the pandemic.
But despite the still visible ravages of the crisis, the evolution of the labor market has already chained several months of joys. July has traditionally been a good month for the labor market (like the previous ones, due to the pull of tourism on employment) and 2021 has been no exception, despite the uncertainty created by the new wave of coronavirus. May and June ended with historical unemployment reductions (in round figures, 129,000 fewer unemployed in the fifth month and 167,000 fewer in the sixth). Julio has again broken a record with almost 200,000 fewer unemployed. In three months, therefore, registered unemployment has been reduced by approximately half a million people and in total there are five consecutive months of reductions, after the maximum unemployment in the current crisis was reached in February with more than four million of unemployed. Since March, unemployment has fallen by more than 592,000 people.
The reduction in July has been homogeneous in all sectors, although services have led widely, with 133,658 fewer unemployed. In industry there have been about 13,000 fewer unemployed; 10,000 in construction and almost 9,000 less in agriculture. 31,991 people did not have a previous job, the group where, in percentage terms, there has been a greater decrease in unemployment (-9.5% compared to June). In the seventh month there have been more women than men who have left the unemployment lists: they have been 104,891 and they, 92,950. Among those under 25 years of age, unemployment has fallen by almost 37,000 workers, which expresses a monthly reduction of 12.3%.
More than 9 million workers
And to this is added the pull of the Social Security affiliation, which is already close to 19.6 million. There are 91,451 more affiliates on average than in June (0.47% more). In seasonally adjusted terms, enrollment in July was 19.4 million, 133,000 more employed than in the previous month. The vast majority, 15.1 million, were part of the general scheme and 3.32 million contributed to the self-employed. A good part of the historic milestone is due to women, who for the second month beat the mark of 9 million affiliates, although this time the figure remains 3,000 women from the June record. There are currently 13,000 more employed women than in December 2019, the month that until this summer marked the record for women employed.
In short, the good streak continues after the Labor Force Survey (EPA) for the second quarter of the year was released last Thursday, which ended with one of the highest job creation figures in the historical series (465,000 new positions between April and June). With this, Spain has already recovered nine out of ten jobs lost during the pandemic. We will have to wait for the figures for August and September, months that due to the seasonality of the Spanish labor market are not usually so favorable, to see if the trend consolidates.