MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is likely to add more than 80,000 jobs in September as the economy recovers from the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escriva said on Thursday.
“These data confirm the strong dynamism in Spain’s labour market that we have observed since June,” he told a news conference, adding that more than half a million people had returned to work since May.
The projected job creation for September is roughly in line with the 76,000 jobs added in August, which Escriva described as a “magnificent month”.
He said that more than 20,000 people left the national ERTE furlough programme in the first half of September, leaving about 250,000 still enrolled in the scheme. At its peak, in the second quarter of 2020, 3.6 million people were supported by the programme.
Of that total, roughly 80,000 were now only partially supported by the scheme, he said, with the remainder not working at all.
He estimated the cost of maintaining so many workers on furlough or unemployment during the pandemic had cost the government around 40 billion euros ($47.07 billion) so far.
Tourism and related industries like air travel accounted for the bulk of people leaving the furlough scheme.
Joblessness in Spain fell for the sixth month in a row in August to its lowest level since the pandemic struck, as widespread vaccinations and looser travel restrictions spurred tourism.
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(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro; Editing by Nick Macfie)