Employment fell in January after four months of recovery

The employment rate fell to 57.1% in the first month of the year from 57.7% in December and ended a streak of four consecutive increases, according to the survey of Activity, employment and unemployment published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) this Thursday.

For January, the employed were estimated at 1,665 million people, about 7 thousand positions below December. Likewise, the activity rate fell slightly, from 62% to 61.7%. Meanwhile, if we analyze the last mobile quarter (November-January), the rate of employment averaged 57.3%, an improvement of 1.1 points compared to the previous three months (August-October).

On the other hand, unemployment reached 7.4% in January —equivalent to about 133 thousand people—. The rate represents an increase of four tenths compared to Decemberwhich left the indicator at the same level as November.

Despite the occasional decline in the labor market in January, the strong recovery in the labor market in recent months has left the employment at pre-pandemic levels and unemployment better than in the period before the health emergency.

The labor market had already shown some signs of a certain loss of dynamism at the beginning of the year. The number of beneficiaries of unemployment insurance increased 4% in January with which seven consecutive months of decline were interrupted. On that occasion, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS) interpreted that “The increase could be explained by the impact of the increase in infections (in the midst of an outbreak of the omicron variant), with the consequent specific impact on the tourist season and its collateral effects on hiring.”

In any case, That increase —from 46,212 to 48,061 workers on unemployment insurance— is low compared to the peak of the pandemic, of 185,769 in May 2020.

On the other hand, a positive piece of information that the INE survey for January showed was the decrease in underemployment, down since last September. In January it fell 1.1 percentage points and reached 8.1%. In August 2021 it had reached its ceiling in more than a decade (11%).

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