By the end of January, the number of unemployed people in Spain fell to €3.5 million, according to government data, making unemployment benefit payouts 44% lower than a decade ago.
Government spending on unemployment benefits amounts to more than €17 billion in 2017, the lowest amount seen since 2007. Those enrolled on the Public Employment Service was at its lowest level since 2009, shortly after the economic crash.
In 2017, around 58.6% of people out of work received some kind of state benefit, compared to 80% in 2009. Over half (56%) of people requested additional state help compared with only 30% in 2009. This is likely due to more people being out of work for a longer amount of time and exhausting their contributory benefits.
Government benefit spending is also thought to be lower thanks to a shorter amount of time claimants are spending receiving payments; those who are unemployed spend an average of 15.1 months receiving state benefits, compared with 15.8 months in 2009 and 17.9 months in 2013.