Spain’s Unemployment: Still on the Road

A couple of years ago I proposed a simple model of Spain’s future numbers of unemployed people in the post ‘Spanish Unemployment – No Rapid Road Down‘.

The Spanish government has recently posted updated quarterly unemployment figures, so I decided to update the graphs from my previous post.

Below you can see the actual figures (bold lines) and the estimates derived from my model (thin lines) in the scenario where Spain’s economy makes a gradual restoration to pre-crisis levels in the monthly probability of an unemployed person finding work and the monthly probability of an employed person losing their job.

Spain-leaky-pipeline-August-2015

You can see that the number of people unemployed in each category (unemployed 0-6 months, unemployed 6-12 months, etc.) seems to roughly be following the gradual restoration scenario. The model estimated that, for this scenario, the number of long-term unemployed (that is, people unemployed for 2+ years) would peak in late 2014 or early 2015 and then slowly decline over the 3 or 4 years. This estimation was made at a time when the number of long-term unemployed was still rising rapidly.

The graph below shows the overall unemployment figure (red line) and the estimates according to the ‘gradual restoration’ scenario (blue line) and ‘current conditions persist’ scenario (green line). Again, the actual figures look more like the gradual restoration case than that things are staying as bad as they were in 2013.

Spain-unemployment-August-2015

I would like to stress that the scenarios I published in 2013 were in no way predictions of what I thought would happen. One was simply the case of Spain’s economy slowly getting better and the other was the case where 2013 conditions persisted indefinitely.

And, from looking at only this one metric, it seems that the employment situation might be slowly improving.

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