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Registered unemployment falls by 7.7% in February, highest drop in 17 years

At the end of February 2015, there were 581,124 people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) as being unemployed, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. This represents 1,645 fewer jobseekers than were registered at the end of January (582,769), a 0.28% drop. In addition, at the end of February 2015 there were 48,462 fewer registered jobseekers than a year ago, which marks the largest annual decline for registered unemployment in the last 17 years for a February month. This represents a 7.7% fall in the last 12 months. The data released on Tuesday shows an encouraging trend for Spain as a whole as well, since registered unemployment fell by 13,538 people in monthly terms, a 0.3% drop. In annual terms, the Spanish labour market posted a 6.24% drop, with 300,333 fewer registered jobseekers.

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03 March 2015 08:53 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- At the end of February 2015, there were 581,124 people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) as being unemployed, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. This represents 1,645 fewer jobseekers than were registered at the end of January (582,769), a 0.28% drop. In addition, at the end of February 2015 there were 48,462 fewer registered jobseekers than a year ago, which marks the largest annual decline for registered unemployment in the last 17 years for a February month. This represents a 7.7% fall in the last 12 months. The data released on Tuesday shows an encouraging trend for Spain as a whole as well, since registered unemployment fell by 13,538 people in monthly terms, a 0.3% drop. In annual terms, the Spanish labour market posted a 6.24% drop, with 300,333 fewer registered jobseekers.According to Joan Aregio, the Catalan Government's Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, the unemployment figures from February 2015 in Catalonia "would indicate that the objective of closing this year in better conditions than last year is achievable".


20th consecutive month of annual drops

The drop in registered unemployment in monthly terms from February 2015 is lower than that from February 2014 - when the number of registered unemployed decreased by 4,285.  However, the data from February 2015 shows that the annual decline in registered unemployment for this month was 48,462 people, which represents the best record in absolute terms for the month of February in the last 17 years, particularly since 1998, when the annual reduction stood at 50,400 people. In relative terms, it is the best figure since February 2000, when there was a 10.38% decline. Since July 2013,Catalonia has accumulated 20 consecutive months of annual decrease in registered unemployment.

Unemployment dropped by 6.24% in annual terms at Spanish level

According tothe Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the data from February 2015 shows an encouraging trend also for Spain as a whole, where the number of people registered on the unemployment lists stood at the end of the month at 4,512,153. This means 13,538 fewer unemployed than registered in January 2015, a 0.3% drop. The figures mark this month as thebest February of the last 14 years in terms of decline in unemployment. Comparing this February’s figures with those from 12 months ago, there were 300,333 fewer registered jobseekers, which represents a 6.24% drop in annual terms.

Catalan unemployment only increased in the agricultural sector

All Catalan economic sectors show decreases in the number of registered unemployment with the exception of agriculture. In the primary sector, registered unemployment grew in monthly terms by 307 people and in annual terms by 1,160 people. On the contrary, the construction sector gained momentum and contributed to the reduction in the number of registered unemployed with a drop of 1,334 unemployed people in monthly terms and a decrease of 17,163 people in annual terms.

Catalonia's industrial sector posted a 1,080 drop in the number of jobseekers in monthly terms. Compared to 12 months ago, the situation also improved, with 12,584 fewer individuals registered as unemployed within this sector. Finally, the services sector showed a drop of 485 people compared to January’s figures. However, it also showed a 22,167 people decrease in annual terms.

Registered unemployment displayed similar behavior throughout Catalonia apart from Lleida

According to the figures released this week,registered unemployment decreased in monthly terms in all Catalan provinces with the exception of Lleida, where an increase of 189 new unemployed people was registered. On the other hand, in annual terms registered unemployment fell in all four provinces.

In BarcelonaProvince(where two-thirds of Catalans live), there were 425,935 people registered as jobseekers, a 0.28% fall compared with January (1,182 fewer individuals unemployed) and a 8.27%  drop in annual terms (38,379 fewer individuals unemployed).

The Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) had 55,416 persons registered as unemployed at the end of February, a 0.87% decrease on January’s figures (487 fewer individuals unemployed) and a 6.49% drop in annual terms (3,848 fewer individuals unemployed).

The Province of Lleida (western Catalonia) ended February with 29,876 people on the SOC’s lists, a 0.64% increase in monthly terms (189 more people) and a 4.23 % drop in annual terms (1,319 fewer individuals unemployed).

Lastly, the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia) had 69,897 people registered as unemployed, a 0.24 % fall in monthly terms (165 fewer unemployed) and a 6.57 % fall in annual terms (4,916 fewer people unemployed)

Contracts

The number of employment contracts signed in Catalonia in February was 184,801, representing a 10.18% decrease on January’s figures, influenced by the end of the Christmas season, and a 14.3% increase compared with February 2014. Of all the contracts signed, 26,274 were for permanent positions (14.22%), with the remaining 158,527 being temporary contracts (85.78%).

2015 could "be better" than 2014

According to Joan Aregio, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations,the data from February 2015 confirms a positive trend of 20 consecutive months of annual decreases in registered unemployment in Catalonia. Although "the situation remains very complicated for that part of the population who is currently unemployed", he stated, "the positive results consolidate month after month [the trend]". The figures "forecast that the situation is improving", he added.

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

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)
Registered unemployment falls by 7.7% in February, highest drop in 17 years