The number of employed persons decreased by 363 300 in the fourth quarter of 2012, standing at 16.96 million. The quarterly variation rate of employment stood at –2.1 percent.
By sex, the unemployed increased by 71 100 men and 116 200 women. The male unemployment rate increased to 25.58 percent, whilst the female rate increased 1.14 points, and stood at 26.55 percent. The composition of unemployment stands unchanged since 2008, with relatively little distance between male and female rates, and more men unemployed than women.
The economically active population experienced a decrease of 176 000 persons in the last quarter of 2012, standing at 22.92 million persons. In annual terms, the number of economically active persons decreased by 158 700 persons. The decrease in the number of economically active persons in the last quarter of 2012 was steep and accentuates the downward trend observed since 2008.