26 April 2024

Economically Active Population Survey (EAPS)

First Quarter 2024

Main results

  • The number of people in employment decreased by 139,700 compared with the previous quarter to 21,250,000. In seasonally adjusted terms, the quarterly rate was 0.54%. Employment has increased by 615,800 in the last 12 months.
  • Unemployment increased by 117,000 to 2,977,900. In seasonally adjusted terms, it decreased by 1.58%. In the last 12 months it decreased by 208,500.
  • The unemployment rate was 12.29% this quarter, forty-nine hundredths more than in the previous quarter.
  • The number of economically active persons decreased by 22,700 to 24,227,900. Over the last year, it has increased by 407,300 persons.
The number of people in employment decreased by 139,700 in the first quarter of 2024, standing at 21,250,000. The quarterly variation rate was -0.65%.
Variation of employement in the first quarter compared with the fourth of last year. First quarter 2024


By gender, employment decreased by 52,900 for men as well as 86,800 for women this quarter. By nationality, it decreased by 106,800 for Spaniards, including those who hold dual nationality, as well as by 32,900 for foreigners.

Employment decreased this first quarter in all sectors: Services (-56,100), Industry (-38,500), Agriculture (-27,600) and Construction (-17,500).

Full-time employment decreased by 199,700 persons. Part-time employment increased by 59,900. On the other hand, the number of salaried workers decreased by 69,800, those on permanent contracts increased by 103,700 while those on temporary contracts decreased by 173,500. The number of self-employed workers decreased by 69,800.

This quarter, private employment decreased by 114,100 persons, standing at 17,699,000. Public employment decreased by 25,600, standing at 3,551,000.

In the past 12 months, employment increased by 615,800 or 2.98% (with increases of 314,000 for women and 301,800 for men). By sector, the largest increase was in Services (522,700 more persons employed).

In the past 12 months, full-time employment increased by 501,100 persons and part-time employment by 114,700. On the other hand, permanent employment increased by 814,300 persons, while temporary employment decreased by 220,100.

Unemployment and unemployment rate

This quarter, the number of unemployed persons increased by 117,000 to 2,977,900. The quarterly variation in unemployment was 4.09%.

Variation of unemployement in the first quarter compared with the fourth of last year. First quarter 2024


The unemployment rate increased by 49 hundredths and stood at 12.29%.

By gender, the number of unemployed men increased by 77,500 and the number of unemployed women increased by 39,500. The female unemployment rate grew by 40 hundredths to 13.73% and the male unemployment rate increased by fifty-nine hundredths to 11.00%.

By nationality, unemployment increased among Spaniards by 57,000 and among foreign nationals by 60,000.

By sector, unemployment rose this quarter in Services (by 128,600), Industry (28,900) and Construction (26,700). And in Agriculture it remained virtually unchanged (800 more).

Unemployment decreased by 32,400 among those who lost their job over a year ago and by 35,600 among those who are seeking their first job.

In the past 12 months, the total number of unemployed decreased by 208,500 persons (57,600 men and 150,800 women). The annual variation was -6.54%.

Unemployment declined over the past year in all sectors: Services (-23,600), Industry (-17,200), Agriculture (-9,900) and Construction (-9,600). On the other hand, the number of unemployed persons who lost their jobs over a year ago decreased by 99,800 and that of unemployed persons looking for their first job by 48,400.

Economically active population and activity rate

The economically active population decreased by 22,700 in the first quarter, standing at 24,227,900. The number of economically active men increased by 24,600, while that of women decreased by 47,300.

By nationality, the number of economically active persons decreased in the last quarter by 49,800 among Spaniards and increased by 27,100 among foreigners.

The economic activity rate decreased by 21 hundredths, reaching 58.63%. The Spaniards rate decreased by 20 hundredths to 57.03% and that of foreigners by 37 hundredths to 69.02%. The different age structure is the main reason for the difference between the two.

In annual terms, the economically active population increased by 407,300 persons. The annual variation rate was 1.71%.


Households with all economically active members unemployed increased by 49,700 to 977,900. On the other hand, households with all economically active members employed decreased by 108,500 to 11,545,000.

In the last 12 months, the number of households with at least one economically active member in which those members were unemployed decreased by 88,100, while those where all active members were employed increased by 346,900.

Results by autonomous communities and provincial data

The largest increase in employment this quarter was recorded in Comunidad de Madrid (44,700 more). And the largest decrease was recorded in País Vasco (-39,200).

In relative terms, the largest quarterly increase was recorded in Cantabria (2.54%).

In terms of unemployment, the largest decrease was recorded in Canarias (-14,500). And the largest increase in Illes Balears (28,300 more).

Cantabria (7.53%) recorded the lowest unemployment rate this quarter. Andalucía (17.77%), the highest.

At the provincial level, a summary of the results can be found in this document and all the information is available via this link.

Seasonally adjusted series

The quarterly employment variation rate adjusted for seasonal effects was 0.54%.

Quarterly variation rate of seasonally adjusted employment. First Quarter 2024


As for the seasonally adjusted unemployment results, a decrease of 1.58% was observed.

Quarterly variation rate of seasonally adjusted unemployment. First Quarter 2024


The seasonally adjusted model and the employment and unemployment series can be found at this link.

Reviews and data updates

The data published today are final. All results of this operation are available on INEBase.

Methodological note

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been carried out since 1964. Its current methodology from 2021 onwards adapts the previous methodology to the new European Labour Force Survey regulations.

It is a continuous, quarterly research activity addressed to families, whose main purpose is to obtain data on the labour force and its various categories (employed, unemployed), as well as on the population outside the labour market (inactive).

As of the third quarter of 2009, the survey includes an additional sample in Galicia that is collected by the Galician Statistics Institute (IGE) using the same fieldwork system and methodology as the INE.

Type of survey:
quarterly continuous survey.
Population scope:
population residing in family homes.
Geographical scope:
the entire national territory.
Reference period of the results:
the quarter.
Reference period of the information:
the week before the interview.
Sample size:
in 2021, the number of census tracts was 3822, of which 234 were the additional sample from Galicia. With the change in the arrangement of sections, this number has increased gradually and will reach a total of 5,298 in 2024, of which 288 will be the additional sample from Galicia.
The number of homes selected per section will go from an average of 20 to 14. Currently there are around 55,000 dwellings and 130,000 people.
Type of sampling:
two-stage stratification in the first stage units, i.e. census tracts. The second-stage units are inhabited family dwellings.
Collection method:
personal, telephone and web interviews.

For more information, you can access the methodology and the standardized methodological report.

INE statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for European Statistics. More information in Quality at INE and Code of Best Practices.

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