Published On: Thu, Apr 2nd, 2020

Coronavirus Spain: Crisis sparks RECORD job losses in ‘paralysed’ nation | World | News

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Social security data has revealed Spain has lost jobs at a record pace since the country went into the coronavirus lockdown. The eurozone’s fourth largest economy, which has recorded 10,003 fatalities and has lost 898,822 jobs since March including 613,000 fixed term workers. The huge figure does not include the people who have been forced to take temporary leave or have had their contracts suspended, which is estimated at 620,000

The country now has a staggering 3.5 million people out of work.

Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escriva said: “This data is extraordinary, it is unprecedented.

“It reflects a real disruption to normal activity.”

Spain started its lockdown on March 14 and since this time, people have only been allowed to leave home for essential trips.

The country lost 900,000 jobs during the 2008/9 financial crisis, but it happened over 20 weeks rather than three.

Unai Sordo, the leader of Spain’s biggest labour union CCOO, told broadcaster TVE, said: “The country is practically paralysed as a result of the health emergency.”

The Spanish Government has said that the country would focus on the economy after they had beaten the pandemic.

Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said: “We will have to work on relaunching the economy once we can get control of the epidemic.”

SEE MORE: Coronavirus graph shows UK to match Italy and Spain’s death toll

Pepe Álvarez, leader of the UGT union, Spain’s second-biggest union, said: “The destruction of jobs is extraordinarily heavy for women, young people and the most precarious work sectors, especially the hotel and restaurant sector and construction workers.”

The job losses have mainly been seen in construction, hospitality, admin, education and transport.

The worst affected regions are Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Murcia and Valencia.

Spain has seen the world’s second highest death toll after Italy.

The Health Minister has said that the curve is being flattened in the country and fatalities should slow down.

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Health Minister Salvador Illa said: “The data shows that the curve has stabilised – we have reached the highest point and things are slowing down.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“A glimpse of hope: the curve has stabilised.

“The peak of the curve and we have started the slowdown phase.”

The country has announced a €200 billion package to help companies and protect workers affected by the crisis.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega



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