Unemployment in Catalonia grew by 0.51% in February, the lowest increase in that month in the last six years
The number of people unemployed and registered as such by the end of February at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) increased by 3,359 people compared to the January figures. This is the lowest unemployment increase registered in the month of February in the last six years. In total, there were 661,176 people in Catalonia who were without a job and were looking for a new one. This sets a new historical record, with 23,228 more people unemployed than a year ago, representing a 3.62% increase. In the whole of Spain, unemployment increased by 59,444 people in February and for the first time the number of people officially registered as jobseekers topped 5 million individuals. Within the last 12 months, unemployment in Spain increased by 328,124 individuals, 6.96% more than those registered in February 2012.
Madrid (ACN).- The number of people unemployed and registered as such at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) by the end of February increased by 3,359 people compared to the January figures, a growth of 0.51%, according to data released on Monday by the Spanish Employment Ministry. This is the lowest unemployment increase registered in the month of February in the last six years in Catalonia. In total, there were 661,176 individuals who were without a job and were looking for a new one. This sets a new historical record in Catalonia, with 23,228 more people unemployed than a year ago, representing a 3.62% increase. However, Catalonia is the Autonomous Community where unemployment has increased the least within the last year, except the Balearic Islands. In the whole of Spain, unemployment increased by 59,444 people in February and for the first time the number of people officially registered as jobseekers topped 5 million individuals, reaching 5,040,222 individuals. Within the last 12 months, unemployment in Spain increased by 328,124 individuals, 6.96% more than in February 2012. The industrial sector is the only area where unemployment decreased in Catalonia. The Catalan Government has cautioned that employment will not be generated until there are no significant changes within the economic policies at a European level.
Catalonia asks for a change of economic policies at European level
The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ramon Bonastre, after learning of the unemployment figures for February 2013, said that \u201Cemployment will not be generated\u201D until \u201Cthe economic policies at a European level are not changed\u201D. Bonastre insisted that economic activity needs to be reactivated to create jobs in order to fight \u201Cthe extreme crisis\u201D and break the current trend of unemployment growth. However, Bonastre also stressed that the data show \u201Ca soft slow-down in the employment destruction trend\u201D, which already was registered in January and continued in February. In addition, he also remarked that in Catalonia, the new hiring processes \u201Care cyclical\u201D and that \u201Cwe are within those months when traditionally jobs are lost\u201D. \u201CWe hope that in the second quarter of the year a period of job creation will start\u201D, he added. Although the true change and large-scale creation of jobs will not come until there is an agreement to put in place economic policies to stimulate growth at a European Union level.
The lowest unemployment growth since 2007
Despite the unemployment increase in Catalonia, it was the month of February with the lowest unemployment growth since 2007, when the number of jobseekers decreased by 1.44% compared to the previous month. Six years later, by the end of February 2013, the number of people registered at the SOC as jobseekers increased by 0.51% compared to the previous month.
Unemployment increased by 3.62% in Catalonia and by 6.96% in the whole of Spain
Compared to February 2012, unemployment in Catalonia increased by 3.62%, which means that 23,228 more people were on the SOC lists. In the whole of Spain, unemployment increased by 6.96% within the last 12 months, with 328,124 registered jobseekers. The Spanish Ministry highlighted the fact that it is the lowest unemployment increase since 2008, although in that year the calculation formula changed.
The industrial sector showed reduced unemployment
Looking at the different economic activity sectors, the Catalan industrial sector is the only one showing positive results, with a decrease in unemployment. By the end of February there were 195 fewer jobseekers within the industrial sector. However, there were 2,596 more unemployed people within the services sector, 444 more within agriculture and 22 more within the construction sector.
Only 87.27% of the new contracts are temporary
In February, 146,079 job contracts were signed in Catalonia, which represents 23,681 fewer contracts than in January or 13.95% less. Furthermore, this also meant 2,143 fewer contracts than in February last year, a 1.45% decrease. Besides, 18,598 of the new contracts signed last month were permanent contracts, which is 12.73% of the total. The rest, 127,481 new contracts, 87.27% of the total, were temporary.
Girona is where unemployment increased the least within the whole of Spain, except the Balearic Islands
Regarding unemployment figures within the four Catalan provinces, in the Province of Girona (on the north-eastern side of Catalonia, where the Costa Brava is located) unemployment only increased by 50 people in February, while in the whole of Catalonia unemployment increased by 3,359 individuals. In total, there were 62,027 unemployed people in Girona by the end of February 2013. It is where unemployment increased the least within the whole of Spain, with the exception of the Balearic Islands. The industry and construction sectors (-85 and -64 people) contributed to the unemployment decrease in Girona. Besides, 11,185 new contracts were signed in Girona; this means 1,306 fewer contracts than in January, a drop of 10.46%. However, compared to a year ago, 203 more contracts were signed in February, an increase of 1.85%.
In the Province of Barcelona \u2013 which houses two thirds of the Catalan population \u2013 unemployment increased by 2,321 people. All the economic sectors contributed to the increase in unemployment, including industry (+14 individuals). 115,725 new contracts were signed in Barcelona. This means 18,812 fewer than those of January 2013, a drop of 13.98%. In annual terms, last month 1.79% fewer new contracts were signed than in February 2012.
In Lleida, the north-western Province of Catalonia, the number of those unemployed grew by 243, reaching 33,217 jobseekers by the end of the month. The only sector where unemployment decreased in Lleida was in the construction activity (-50). Regarding the number of new contracts, 6,231 were signed in Lleida. This means 2,045 fewer than in January, a drop of 24.71%. It also represents 259 fewer new contracts than 12 months ago, a 3.99% decrease compared to February 2012.
Finally, in the Province of Tarragona (on the southern side of Catalonia, where the Costa Daurada is located) there were 77,424 registered jobseekers by the end of February 2013, 745 more individuals than in January. The industrial and construction sectors contributed to the unemployment drop (by -165 and -86 people respectively). Lastly, 12,938 new contracts were signed in the Tarragona Province, 1,518 fewer than in January, which means a drop of 10.50%. However, it also means 25 more contracts than in February 2012, a 0.19% increase.