• Employment grows by 88,900 people in February but 11,800 young people are unemployed after the rise in the SMI

Registered unemployment


Spain grew by 2,618 people in February, but

the group without a previous job

-that is, all those who have never worked in the country before and seek to join the labor market-

increased by 10,139 unemployed

last month, the

largest increase

for that collective in the second month of the year since




is not a month in which many young people traditionally enter the labor market, as is the case in the months of

June and July,

when the school year ends and students sign up for the lists of the Public State Employment Service ( SEPE) to find a summer job.

However, this year

there has been an unprecedented increase

, which in turn has caused

unemployment to only increase among those under 25 years of age.

While for this group of young people unemployment has grown by



, for those over 25 there has been a decrease of 9,244 unemployed, according to data published this Thursday by the Ministries of Labor and Social Security.

With this rebound, the number of people under 25 registered for unemployment rose to

215,266 people,

which places


as the European Union (EU) country with the

highest youth unemployment rate, at 29.6%

in January , compared to

14.4% in the EU

, according to data also published this Thursday by Eurostat.



has admitted that the increase is unusual, but says it

is unaware of its causes.

"We want to study in detail why this increase in unemployed people occurred in the previous month. We

do not know exactly what has happened,

especially because it was at a different time than the end of the school year, which is when it usually occurs ", recognized the Secretary of State for Employment,

Joaquín Pérez Rey.

In his opinion, it cannot be ruled out that a call for public aid

has been published

that requires registration with the employment services to apply for it, something that could have encouraged the group to sign up.

However, experts consulted by this newspaper find

a more convincing explanation in


and measures such as the rise in the

Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) .

Florentino Felgueroso

, a


researcher who is an expert in the labor market, believes that "behind this there is a component of

youth unemployment,

but also a demographic issue, due to the

increase in the population of that age segment

-those born during the housing bubble - and by the increase in the active


population ; since they have not worked before, it only implies that they have not worked in our country but may come from another".

Valentín Bote,

director of

Randstad Research

, recalls that the increase in the



1,080 euros

, approved last month and with retroactive effect from January 1, has also had an impact by reducing the ability of young people to enter the labor market.


The SMI affects especially young people

with a lower level of qualification, because they normally do not have work experience that can offset the lack of training. This phenomenon is more serious in communities with lower average salaries, since in them the SMI already is well above 60% of the average salary," he points out.

"It is still a phenomenon to watch, to see if the negative trend consolidates,

but it is certainly worrying,"

he stresses.


BBVA Research

they believe that "despite the fact that the incidence of SMI among young people is higher and possibly the increase in this could

make it difficult for them to access and remain in the labor market

", it is too early to draw conclusions.

"The data for February are not conclusive in this regard. According to our estimates, discounting the seasonality of the period,

the increase in registered unemployment in the group without a previous job

(made up mainly of young people) would have been

2,600 people

who, in any case, have been

less than in January

(3,400) and are consistent with the growth observed since June of last year (2,000 on a monthly average)", they explain.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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  • SEPE

  • Social Security

  • Unemployment

  • minimum salary

  • Articles Alejandra Olcese