More registered than apparent actual unemployed in Spain

Are Spanish unemployment statistics the result of fraud or incompetence?

Broadly comparable Labour Force Surveys are used across Europe to provide an index of real unemployment, amongst other things. Registered unemployed numbers are usually significantly lower than the LSF figure, and exclude, according to the creative imagination of the administration responsible, quite considerable numbers of those described as unregistered and deregistered.

It should be physically impossible for the registered figure to exceed the LSF one, but this is what is happening in Spain, where {LSF = 13.91%} suggests a rate significantly lower than {RE = 14.43%}. The biggest anomalies are in communities governed by the PSOE, and in Galicia, with elections in full swing, the difference between the two figures is a whopping 57%, even before you’ve reïncluded all the categories excluded from the registered figure. Expansión suggests that this may all be due to the reëmergence of workers from the black economy, to the manipulation of jobless figures for electoral purposes, or to poor surveying techniques.

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  1. Think of the unemployed as sheep and the bureaucrats as farmers: the more you declare the more money you can divert to your party or your holiday home – until some awkward Johnny flies over in a helicopter and counts them.

  2. Bollocks, everybody knows that grumpy Colin is none other than Rosalia de Castro posing as a cross between Rosa Diez and Chris Hitchens.

  3. It’s perfectly logical. People who claim to be looking for a job and people who are registered at the state employment office form two independent sets of people. Since one is not a subset of the other, it needs not be smaller or equal than the other. This Expansion magazine is a fraud.

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