Not that it's going to inhibit the production of pre-packaged commentaries, but we think it's worth pointing out that maybe the standard American labour market take - that participation decreases during recessions as job seekers become discouraged - doesn't exactly apply to Spain. In fact, it might be appropriate to believe that employment gains at the young end of the scale might produce an inordinately large drop in active population, and that the consequent extra decline in the unemployment rate is a Good Thing - not a fantabulous evil conspiracy designed to obfuscate the true irremediability of the situation (or, alternately, to give a boost to the credibility of the commentator noting it). After all, there is some evidence here that each job loss produced one-point-something job seekers over the course of the last six years. If you want, you can see a scatter plot of the same series here.
Lastly, I don't have any trouble convincing myself that the giant warehouse of human availability known as 'the unemployed' is operated on a FIFO basis - first in, first out. In order, the collapse of the building industry hit participants like this:
1). Illegal, undocumented labour
4). Full-time permanentCruel and unsatisfactory as it may be, recoveries work in reverse order. We know that most official jobs created recently have been of type 2 and 3. The reader can rest assured that the two negative prints at the end of the chart tell us that there's activity in the grey market as well.
A multitude of binary beings populating the noise-o-sphere will likely come to the conclusion that I believe that everything is really alright. It's not. Obviously. I am not threatening your credo.
Also, the invaluable Chris Dillow gives us a couple of object lessons in the interpretation of labour force stats. They can be read here and here. Worth the effort.