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Third quarter unemployment figures set Catalonia's rate at 19.10% and Spain's at 23.67%

Spain's unemployment rate at the end of the third quarter stands at 23.67%, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). The unemployment rate for Catalonia has fallen below 20% for the first time in the last 3 years and is set at 19.10%. The number of unemployed people in Catalonia has dropped by 44,400 in the third quarter of 2014, a decrease of 5.76% compared to the previous quarter. This is the biggest reduction since at least 2002, when the Spain's Statistical Institute began the series. Thanks to the creation of 69,100 new jobs in Catalonia over the last 12 months, there are now 34,800 more people employed in the third quarter. This makes Catalonia have the second highest unemployment drop in Spain, second only to Madrid Region (-48,200 people). The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, has called the figures are "encouraging" and "hopeful", although a 19.1% rate is still "very high".

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23 October 2014 10:11 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Spain has released on Thursday its unemployment figures for the third quarter of 2014, according to data by the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). Unemployment rate has fallen to 19.10% in Catalonia, the lowest yet since 2011, while that of Spain stands at 23.67%. According to the EPA, unemployment in Catalonia has fallen by 5.76%, representing 44,400 fewer unemployed people compared to figures from the second quarter. This decrease in unemployment in Catalonia is second best in Spain, second only to Madrid Region where the number of jobless fell by 48,200 people. Data released by Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE) shows this is the biggest decrease in Catalonia since the series began in 2002. Until this quarter’s figures, the best year had been 2005, when the number of jobless people fell by 35,100. Thanks to the creation of 69,100 new jobs in Catalonia over the past 12 months, there are 34,800 more people employed in the third quarter, compared to the figures from the second quarter. The number of jobs created over the last 12 months increased by 2.3%, making the total number of employed people in Catalonia 3,074,800. According to the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, the fall in unemployment shows an “encouraging trend that reinforces the Catalan economy’s recovery”. However, he also added that a 19.1% rate is still "very high".


On the way down: unemployment dips below 20%

The growth of jobs in the third quarter in Catalonia has increased by 2.3%, with last year’s figure of 3,074,800 employed matched only the 2011 census listing 3,136,600 working people. By the end of the third quatter there were 726,000 unemployed people in Catalonia, 44,000 fewer than three months previous and posting an unemployment rate of 19.10%.

In the whole of Spain the number of people unemployed fell by 195,200 people and the total number of unemployed stood at 5,427,700 people, representing a 23.67% rate. As in the case of Catalonia, the fall in unemployment in the third quarter is the largest in absolute terms in the third quarter of the number of the EPA.

The EPA is different from the monthly data released by Spain’s Employment Ministry. It is calculated based on quarterly surveys of households across the country, and is considered the most accurate view of unemployment as it includes jobseekers that are looking for work, but not registered at the country’s public employment offices.

Growth in the services industry

In Catalonia, employment has grown in all sectors, with the services industry having a particularly positive effect thanks to the tourist summer season. The services sector has seen the number of employed increase to 16,600 people, and the industry sector to 16,200. The construction industry increased its number of employed to 1,600, while agriculture registered a growth of 300 jobs.

According to Felip Puig, the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, these increases are "exceptional" as these industrial and services sector are "the engines of growth" in generating jobs in Catalonia.

Spain

Spain’s unemployment figures have been steadily declining, from a jobless rate of 25.65% in September 2013, 24.47% last quarter, to 23,67% the third quarter of this year. However, the latest is 4.57 points higher than the number of jobless in Catalonia. According to this data, the number of unemployed people across Spain has fell by 515,700 people a year.

In Spain, employment has grown by 151,000 people in the third quarter compared with the second quarter, reaching a census of 17,504,000 million workers. With this data, employment has grown by 274,000 people in the last 12 months.

Catalan Provinces

According to the EPA, unemployment is down and jobs are on the rise in all the four provinces of Catalonia this third quarter compared with the previous one. Despite this, only the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona have shown employment growth in annual terms.

Barcelona

In the Province of Barcelona, unemployment figures stand at 2,243,900 people for the third quarter, with an increase of 3,600 jobs enabling 60,400 more people working than a year ago. With 530,100 people unemployed in the third quarter, the unemployment rate in Barcelona stands at 19.11%, down from 19.72% in the second quarter, and well below the rate of 22.98% recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

Girona

In the Province of Girona, in north-eastern Catalonia, employment has grown by 9,100 people during the third quarter making the total number of working people 315,700. In relation to the third quarter of last year, employment has fallen by 4,800 people. With 80,500 people jobless in the third quarter, the unemployment rate stood at Girona 20.32%, below that 22.45% recorded in the second quarter of this year and well below the 21.17% which was the rate in the third quarter of 2013.

Lleida

In Lleida, the western province of Catalonia, there were 186,100 people working in the third quarter, representing an increase of 3,500 employed people from the second quarter, but 4,000 less than those in the third quarter in 2013. With 29,100 jobless in the third quarter, the unemployment rate in Lleida was fixed at 13.52%, the lowest of the provinces of Catalonia, lower than the 15.81% from the second quarter and 14.79% below the rate of unemployment recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

Tarragona

In Catalonia’s southern province of Tarragona, the number of working people in the third quarter stood at 329,100 people, 18,600 more employed than the second quarter, and an increase of 17,500 people compared to the third quarter from a year ago. With 86,300 people unemployed in the third quarter in the province of Tarragona, the unemployment rate stood at 20.78%, compared with 23.79% recorded in the second quarter and below the 25.19% rate in the third quarter of 2013.

The number of active population in Catalonia falls by 80,000 individuals in a year

In the whole of Spain the number of people working or actively looking for work fell by 44,200 people in the third quarter in an active population of 22,931,700 people. In the last twelve months the active population has fallen by 241,700 people.

In Catalonia, the working population has dropped in the third quarter to 9,600 people, compared to a reduction of 80,300 people in the last 12 months.

Increase in temporary contracts in Spain but decrease in Catalonia

The growth in employment this quarter is largely thanks to the rising number of temporary contracts, which increased by 122,400 contracts in Spain. The number of permanent contracts on the other hand, has decreased by 26,700 contracts.

With this result, the temporary employment rate increased by 0.6 points in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter to reach 24.6%. In relation to the last year, workers with permanent contracts increased by 1.3% while those with temporary contracts increased by 4.6%.

However, in Catalonia there was a reduction of 11,100 people with part-time contracts and increase of 80,100 people with full-time contracts compared to the same time last year. The Catalan Employment Minister, Felip Puig, said that "we are winning the fight against insecurity".

A "positive and sustained" situation

During a press conference on Thursday, the Catalan Minister assessed the data held by the Active Population Survey for the third quarter in Catalonia. He recognized that employment figures are "worrying", but said he is positive that the situation "is better than last year". Moreover, he admitted that the unemployment rate of 19.1% is still "very high and alarming" in comparison to 2013 the situation is "positive and sustained" because there are now nearly 150,000 fewer unemployed. Puig said that much of the reduction of the workforce (-80,300 people) is due to foreigners returning to their countries of origin.

The minister was also "worried" because there are still 220,000 households in Catalonia where all active members are unemployed, but pointed out that this social group has decreased by 13,000 compared to the previous quarter.

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  • A worker in a factory located in Lleida Province (by O. Bosch)

  • A worker in a factory located in Lleida Province (by O. Bosch)