Employment fell by more than 244,000 people, in January, the biggest drop for the first month of the year since 2013.
However, the Social Security Ministry said the overall number of contributors remained above 19 million.
Registered unemployment rose by almost 90,250 from December, there are now 3.25 million unemployed in Spain.
After Christmas, many seasonal hirings in retail and hospitality come to an end.
So do many other contracts signed for a natural year.
Together with the economic slowdown, car registration, which is a good indicator, fell nearly 8% in January.