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Registered unemployment drops by 1.06% in April in Catalonia

The number of jobseekers registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) decreased by 7,055 people last month, which leaves the total number at 656,995 unemployed individuals. The figure represents 21,274 more jobseekers than a year ago, an annual increase of 3.35%. In April, all the economic sectors contributed to the reduction in the level of registered unemployment. In the whole of Spain, the number of people officially registered as unemployed decreased by 0.91%, setting the total number of jobseekers below 5 million individuals (4,989,193), 46,050 fewer people than a month ago. The Catalan Government considered the April figures to be “positive” but also “insufficient”.

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07 May 2013 12:36 AM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The number of jobseekers registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) decreased by 7,055 people last month, which leaves the total number at 656,995 unemployed individuals, according to data released on Monday by the Spanish Employment Ministry. This represents a 1.06% monthly reduction. After having reached a historical record high in February, registered unemployment decreased for the second consecutive month, although it remains higher than it was a year ago. At the end of April, in Catalonia there were 21,274 more jobseekers than a year ago, which is an annual increase of 3.35%. In the whole of Spain, the number of people officially registered as unemployed decreased by 0.91% in April, setting the total number of jobseekers below 5 million individuals (4,989,193), 46,050 fewer people than a month ago. All the economic sectors contributed to the reduction in the level of registered unemployment in Catalonia. The Catalan Government considered the April figures to be \u201Cpositive\u201D but also \u201Cinsufficient\u201D. The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ramon Bonastre, emphasised that Catalonia\u2019s labour market is \u201Calive\u201D since in the first four months of the year it generated 650,000 new contracts. However, he asked for economic stimulation policies to be put in place in order to reverse the economic trend. Bonastre also said that the Catalan Government is particularly concerned by the number of people who do not receive any kind of unemployment benefit or grant, since only 64% of the people registered at the SOC receive public money. He added that they are working on measures to minimise \u201Cthe risk of social exclusion\u201D of these people.


Comparing the data with that from previous Aprils, the 1.06% reduction registered last month is higher than the reduction from April 2012, which was 0.4%. However the 1.06% drop is lower than the 1.59% drop from April 2011, since that year the Easter holidays were in the middle of the month. April 2012 was the second consecutive month that the lists of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) decreased, after February\u2019s historical record high of 665,176 jobseekers.

All the active sectors (agriculture, industry, construction and services) have contributed to the reduction in registered unemployment in April. The agriculture sector had 385 fewer jobseekers; the industrial sector, 1,076; construction, 1,677; and the service sector had a reduction of 4,034 unemployed people. In total, 7,055 people who are no longer registered on the SOC lists. Unfortunately, the reduction in the construction sector is particularly significant because people tend to either find a job in another sector or quit the SOC lists because they have been unemployed for too many months, they have lost all the unemployment benefits and they decide to come off the SOC lists.

64% of the people registered at the SOC receive unemployment benefits or social grants

Regarding the number of people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service who received some public allowance at the end of March (the Spanish Ministry gives this figure from a month ago), 64% of them were receiving some sort of public money. 33.61% of them were receiving unemployment benefits. 26.48% were receiving a grant after the period to receive the regular dole had expired. Finally, 3.93% of them were receiving the Minimum Insertion Income.

Immigrants make unemployment decrease

While unemployment has increased in the whole of the population compared to a year ago (an increase of 3.35%), the statistics show that the number of jobseekers among the immigrant population has decreased. Among foreign unemployed people \u2013 a group that is made up of 80% non-EU citizens \u2013 unemployment dropped by 4.17% compared to a year ago. The explanation is that most of the foreigners whose unemployment grants expired have left the country. Compared to March, registered unemployment among foreigners has been reduced by 1.99%.

Lleida, the only province where unemployment increased

Looking at the four Catalan provinces, Lleida (Western Catalonia) was the only one where unemployment increased in April. In Lleida Province, the number of registered jobseekers grew by 0.19%, which means that 62 more people were on the SOC lists, reaching a total number of 33,222 individuals. The Province of Lleida has the lowest unemployment rate in Catalonia and one of the lowest ones in Spain. Regarding the figures from a year ago, unemployment increased by 2.53%. The service sector has been the highest contributor to the rise in jobseekers in Lleida, since the rest of the sectors had fewer jobseekers registered.

In the Province of Barcelona, 490,334 registered unemployed people

In Barcelona Province \u2013 where two thirds of Catalonia\u2019s population lives \u2013 the number of people who were unemployed and registered with the SOC decreased by 0.78% in April, with 3,836 fewer jobseekers. This leaves the total number of registered unemployed individuals in Barcelona at 490,334. This represents a 3.45% increase compared to a year ago. The service sector was the main one responsible for the unemployment drop in Barcelona, followed by construction and the industrial sector.

Girona had a drop of 2.68%

The Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) registered the highest proportional unemployment drop in Catalonia, with 1,628 fewer jobseekers than a month ago. By the end of April there were 59,009 registered unemployed people in Girona, which meant a drop of 2.68% compared to the previous month. However, it was also a 2.73% increase compared to the April 2012 figures. The service sector clearly led unemployment reduction in Girona, although all the sectors contributed.

Tarragona registered a 2.17% unemployment reduction

Finally, the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia) ended April with 1,653 fewer jobseekers than the previous month, which is an increase of 2.17%. The total number of people registered on the SOC lists in Tarragona by the end of April reached 74,430 individuals, 3.49% more than a year ago. All the economic sectors contributed to April\u2019s unemployment reduction in Tarragona, led by the service sector.

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  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service in Barcelona (by O. Campuzano)

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service in Barcelona (by O. Campuzano)