The Government has published in its statistics this Tuesday that the unemployment registered in the offices of the Public State Employment Service (SEPE) increased by 26,573 people in May compared to April, which implies a growth of 0.69%. It is the biggest increase of this month of the entire historical series since May is usually a good month for the labor market. However, the coronavirus crisis has broken any possible forecast or trend.

Spain has 778,285 more unemployed than a year ago in the statistics of the employment offices, an increase of 25.27% showing the severity of the coronavirus crisis. The official unemployment figure it stands at 3.85 million people, increasingly closer to the four million barrier. Actually, there are already six million collecting an unemployment benefit, which implies that the number of unemployed people is greater than reflected in official statistics, which do not take into account ERTE or aid for cessation of activity for the self-employed.

Specifically, in the month of May the total number of benefits paid by the State Public Employment Service amounted to 5.98 million, of which 791,921 are new, which contrasts with the increase in official unemployment in just 26,573 people.

The total benefits include the traditional provisions of the Law and those of those affected by an ERTE, including those who returned fully or partially to activity during the month of May. The total amount paid amounts to 5,121 million euros.

The SEPE has recognized 3,748,009 benefits between March 16 and May 31, which are already paid thanks to the agreement signed by the Ministry of Labor and financial entities. The Ministry of Labor explains that there are workers who have been affected by more than one ERTE, warning that this figure is higher than the total number of beneficiaries.

The SEPE says that it has recognized 98.5% of the requests received. New benefits are pending or those that must be remedied by what, from the department led by Yolanda Díaz, they call «errors outside the State Public Employment Service ». The SEPE has been surrounded by criticism because many workers still do not receive the ERTE.

Affiliation to Social Security

On the other hand, the number of people affiliated to Social Security on the last day of May was 18,584,176, which means that the system registered an increase of 187,814 affiliates from the beginning to the end of the month (1% more) . This figure contrasts with the decrease of 49,074 affiliates that occurred during April and 833,979 in March.

The average number of Social Security affiliates stood at 18,556,129 people in May, which represents an increase of 97,462 contributors compared to the April average (0.53% more). In the previous month, the fall was 2.88%, that is, 548,093 employed persons compared to the March average.

It should be noted that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic began to be noticeably appreciated as of March 12Therefore, in the analysis of the data for March and April, emphasis was placed on behavior throughout the month, above the monthly average, which was then less representative.

In the last 12 months, the System has lost 885,985 affiliates (-4.56%). Of this figure, 776,083 correspond to the General Regime, which experiences a decrease of 5.21%. Furthermore, the Special Agrarian System has seen its affiliates decrease in 17,092, while the Special System for Household Employees has decreased by 32,189. The joint General Regime registers a decrease of the contributors of 5.13%.

For its part, the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers registered 56,948 fewer people (-1.74%) compared to May 2019. In addition, the Sea Regime decreased by 3,340 employed persons (5.12%) and Coal decreased in 332 affiliates, representing a drop of 21.6%.

ERTE force majeure

Of the total number of affiliates to Social Security, as of May 29, 2,998,970 were protected by a situation of total or partial suspension by Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE). Of these, 2,616,553 were in ERTE due to force majeure.

Since the end of April 457,909 people have stopped being in ERTE due to force majeure, while 70,094 have been included in an ERTE not due to force majeure.

In late May, the sectors where there are more affiliates in an ERTE due to force majeure they are Food and beverage services, Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles and Accommodation services.

Finally, the communities where there are the most employed in this situation are Catalonia, Madrid and Andalusia.