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Catalonia registers largest drop in unemployment drop in 19 years, with 9,469 fewer jobseekers

At the end of March 2015, there were 571,655 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia. This is 9,469 fewer jobseekers in comparison with February 2015, representing a 1.63% drop. It is also the largest monthly decline in absolute terms since 1996. In annual terms, this was the biggest drop in the last two decades, as the number of jobseekers fell by 52,812 people (-8.46%). Moreover, registered unemployment in Catalonia declined for the 21st consecutive month in annual terms. In Spain as a whole, at the end of March 2015 the number of people registered as unemployed stood at 4.45 million, with 60,214 fewer jobseekers than in February (which represents a 1.33% drop, the largest decline in 13 years). In annual terms, registered unemployment fell by 343,927 (-7.17 %), a positive sign considering that during the last 6 years it had grown in the month of March by an average of more than 35,000 people.

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07 April 2015 09:00 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- At the end of March 2015, there were 571,655 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia, according to data released on Monday by the Spanish Employment Ministry. This is 9,469 fewer jobseekers in comparison with February 2015, representing a 1.63% drop. It is also the largest monthly decline in absolute terms since 1996. In annual terms, this was the biggest drop in the last two decades, as the number of jobseekers fell by 52,812 people (-8.46%). Moreover, registered unemployment in Catalonia declined for the 21st consecutive month in annual terms since July 2013. In Spain as a whole, at the end of March 2015 the number of people registered as unemployed stood at 4.45 million, with 60,214 fewer jobseekers compared to figures from February (which represents a 1.33% drop, the largest decline in 13 years). In annual terms, registered unemployment fell by 343,927 (-7.17 %), a positive sign considering that during the last 6 years it had grown in month of March by an average of more than 35,000 people.


Registered unemployment fell across all sectors, especially the tertiary sector

Although registered unemployment fell across all sectors in Catalonia, the services sector performed particularly well. Indeed, it ended March with nearly 380,000 people registered as unemployed, 7,847 less than the previous month (-6.4%) and some 25,992 less than last year (-2%). In this regard, it is noteworthy that Easter week 2015, which always encourages hiring in the tourism sector, has coincided with the end of March, while last year it was in April.

According to the figures released on Monday, 76,000 people were registered as unemployed in the secondary sector in Catalonia, which means 1,095 fewer jobseekers than in February (-1.4%) and 12,200 less than last year (-13.8%). The construction sector still has more than 65,000 jobseekers, 867 fewer than in February (-2%) and 16,861 fewer than March 2014 (-20.5%).

With regard to the primary sector, more than 15,000 people remain unemployed and the monthly decline registered during March 2015 was moderate. In particular, at the end of last month, there were 178 fewer jobseekers (-1.14%) in comparison with the figures from February, and 377 fewer than last year (-2.5%).

In general, unemployment increased among people with no previous work experience, (currently standing at 34,912), growing by 518 in monthly terms (+1.5%) and 1,864 in annual terms (+5.6%).

Highest drops in unemployment registered in Girona, Lleida and Tarragona

According to the figures released this week, registered unemployment decreased in all Catalan provinces, particularly in Girona, Lleida and Tarragona where, in monthly terms, it fell by more than 2.5%. The data for March 2015 from the Spanish Employment Ministry confirm an overall positive trend for all of Catalonia, where more than 20 consecutive months of annual decreases in unemployment have been registered.

In Barcelona Province (where two-thirds of Catalans live), there were 421,853 people registered as jobseekers, a 0.96% fall compared with February (4,082 fewer individuals unemployed) and an 8.6% drop in annual terms (39,712 fewer individuals unemployed).

The Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) had 53,122 persons registered as unemployed at the end of March, a 4.14% decrease on February’s figures (2,294 fewer individuals unemployed) and an 8.23% drop in annual terms (4,761 fewer individuals unemployed).

The Province of Lleida (western Catalonia) ended March with 29,126 people on the SOC’s lists, a 2.51% decrease in monthly terms (750 less people) and a 6.34% drop in annual terms (1,971 fewer individuals unemployed).

Lastly, the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia) had 67,554 people registered as unemployed at the end of March, a 3.35 % fall in monthly terms (2,343 fewer unemployed) and an 8.61% fall in annual terms (6,368 fewer people unemployed).

The number of contracts for permanent positions is slowly rising

The number of employment contracts signed in Catalonia in March stood at 218.599, representing a 24.83% annual increase (+43,485 contracts in absolute terms), probably due to the fact that Easter week fell at the end of the month. In monthly terms, an 18.28% increase was registered, meaning 33,798 more contracts signed. Of these, 32,020 were for permanent positions (+14.64%), with the remaining 186,579 being temporary contracts (85.35%).

Indefinite duration employment contracts grew by 21.87 % in monthly terms (+5,746 in total) and by 36.64 % in annual terms (+8,586). On the other hand, temporary contracts grew by 17.7 % in comparison to figures from February and by 23% over the previous year's ones.

Less than 58% of unemployed receive financial assistance

The figures for people receiving financial assistance are always issued with a one-month delay, and therefore those published this week correspond to February’s numbers and not those for March. By the end of February, there were 581,124 unemployed persons in Catalonia. Only 57.81 % of them (335,990 people) were receiving some kind of financial assistance, be it in the form of unemployment benefits, social grants or other welfare measures. This means that 42.19% of those registered as unemployed (245,134 people) were not receiving any sort of public money.

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  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)