How Powerful Is Spain?

Spain once had an economic future similar to Greece, yet unprecedented growth put the nation back on track. So, just how powerful is Spain?

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Is Spain Really On an Economic Recovery?

Following the global economic downturn in 2008, Spain was in particularly bad shape. The housing and construction bubble effectively burst, putting millions of people out of work and taking a toll on the country's economy. Spain lost 16 percent of its jobs and its GDP declined by 7 percent. Since then, some are seeing Spain's story as one of a win for austerity measures. Since 2014, Spain has created over 1 million new jobs and its economy is predicted to grow by 3 percent this year.

Still, many remain skeptical over the term "recovery" and gainful employment is difficult to come by for many Spaniards. As reported by the New York Times, many of the jobs being created are only part-time, provide low wages, and force people to work overtime without proper compensation. Unemployment remains markedly high at 22 percent at the end of last quarter, with 2.7 million people unemployed for over a year. One of the major issues driving unemployment is that, just before the global recession, it was becoming common for young adults to drop out of college to pursue high-paying construction jobs. Those jobs have since gone away and the same individuals are not poised to re-enter the job market. Experts familiar with Spain's politics and economy say these tensions may play out in this year's elections, when the Popular Party and center-left Socialist party may make some gains.

Learn More:
The gain in Spain goes mainly against the grain (csmonitor.com)
"With the global economy in slow gear, many economists now speak of a 'secular stagnation' or even 'hysteresis.'"

Five Reasons Why Spain has a stubbornly high unemployment rate of 26% (blog.oup.com)
"The Spanish economy roared along like a high-speed train for a decade until it slowed down dramatically in 2008."

Education at a Glance 2014 (oecd.org)
"Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world."