The evolution of the unemployment rate displayed in Figure 8.9 confirms the adverse employment prospects suggested by the evolution of the employment rate. The Spanish unemployment rate after 2007 presents completely different behaviour with respect to its European neighbours. After a very important decrease between 1995 and 2001, the unemployment rate pursued a slightly decreasing trend until 2007, when it reached 8 per cent. From this point we observe a sharp increase that yielded unemployment rates of 25 per cent by 2012. None of the unemployment rates of Spain's European partners display such a

Unemployment rates in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK

Figure 8.9. Unemployment rates in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK

peculiar path. Moreover, even during the deepest moments of the crisis none of these unemployment rates went above 12 per cent.

Figure 8.A2 in the Appendix shows the corresponding unemployment rates for different demographic groups. When distinguishing by gender (panel A), we observe that, before 2008, the unemployment rate borne by women was above the unemployment rate of men. However, since 2008 men's unemployment rate followed a very steep upward path that promoted convergence between the two rates. When distinguishing by age (panel B) or by education (panel C), we can see that the population segments that suffer the highest unemployment increases are young workers (aged 15-24), whose unemployment rate attained 55 per cent in 2012, and the least educated workers.

Several structural factors, such as the existing legislation, institutions, demographic composition, and so on, may have influenced the performance of the labour market during the crisis period. In Section 8.3.4, we describe the recent evolution of some of these factors.

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