The average number of people registered for social security purposes increased by 85,735 in February, the largest increase in the second month of the year since 2015, according to the Ministry of Social Security. Unemployment also fell: 7,806 fewer people were unemployed, the largest fall since 2017, taking the total number of unemployed people to 3.2 million (3,246,067), according to ministerial data published today.
These figures have surprised the market somewhat. For example, Funcas predicted that employment was going to grow in February, but calculated that the increase in workers would not exceed 60,000. The unemployment data were also surprising due to the recovery recorded in certain sectors, for example, the construction sector. Based on the seasonally adjusted figures, unemployment fell in February by 19,043 people, compared with a cumulative fall in unemployment of 42,993 people (-1.3%) over the last year.