Unemployment rate rises to 6.7% in December

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The unemployment rate rose to 6.7% in December 2022, the highest since June 2021 and compared to 6.5% in November and 5.9% in December 2021, according to provisional data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

According to INE’s “Monthly Estimates of Employment and Unemployment”, “in December 2022, the unemployment rate increased to 6.7%, the highest value since June 2021, when it was 6.8%.
This INE highlight revised upward the November unemployment rate last year from the initially estimated 6.4% to 6.5%, up 0.4 percentage points from the previous month and 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

In December 2022, INE estimates that the active population (5,213.5 thousand) had an increase of 8.1 thousand people (0.2%) compared to the previous month and an increase of 0.4% compared to December 2021.

According to INE, the increase in the active population “resulted from the increase in the unemployed population (10.7 thousand; 3.2%), which exceeded the decrease in the employed population (2.6 thousand; 0.1%).
For its part, the 0.4% drop in the inactive population – to 2,445.4 thousand people, “the lowest figure since February 1998” – was “explained essentially by the decrease in the number of other inactive people, those who are neither available nor looking for work (10.2 thousand; 0.4%).

The estimated employment rate in December was 63.5%, slightly below November’s 63.6%, while the labor underutilization rate was 12.1%, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month and 0.7 percentage points from the same month a year earlier.

“Labor underutilization reached, in December 2022, its highest value (650.5 thousand) since July 2021 (660.4 mi), which was reflected in the labor underutilization rate, which equaled the value recorded in August 2021 (12.1%),” details the INE.

In December last year, the employed population (4,865.9 thousand) decreased 0.1% compared to the previous month and 0.5% compared to the same month in 2021, while the unemployed population (347.6 thousand) increased compared to the previous month (3.2%) and compared to December 2021 (14.0%).

According to INE, in December 2022 the activity rate “remained at its highest value since February 1998 (68.1%),” while the employment rate “moved away from the maximum observed in February and March 2022 (63.9% in both).

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