Spain – Small gains

Spain’s unemployment rate fell for the second straight year in 2014, but at 23.7 percent the country’s labor market still faces a long road to recovery. Last year, the country’s large services sector took on more staff, driven by a strong tourist season and a rebound in construction activity. Unlike the unemployment decrease of 2013, which was caused by a decline in the labor force, last year’s drop was due to the creation of jobs, according to economists. However, the vast majority of the new jobs that were created are temporary. Economists warn that the sky-high youth jobless rate (51.8 percent) is still a major drag on an economic turnaround in Spain.