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Unemployment in Catalonia reaches 24.53% by the end of the first quarter of 2013

By the end of March, unemployment in the whole of Spain set a new historical record high with a rate of 27.16% and more than 6.2 million people being without a job and looking for a new one. This represented a quarterly increase of 237,400 individuals and a yearly growth of 563,200 people. In Catalonia, 902,300 people were unemployed by the end of March, 17,100 more individuals than three months previously and 65,300 more than a year ago. This sets a new historical record high for Catalonia too, breaking the previous one just set three months ago with a rate of 23.9% unemployment by the end of 2012. Unemployment increased throughout Catalonia except in the western Lleida province where it has been decreasing over the last year.

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26 April 2013 12:26 AM

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ACN / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Barcelona (ACN).- Unemployment is breaking all historic records in Catalonia and Spain by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Catalonia\u2019s unemployment rate reached 24.53% by the end of March, with 902,300 people who were without a job and looking for a new one, according to the last Active Population Survey (EPA) released on Thursday by the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE). At a Spanish level, the unemployment rate reached the \u201Cdramatic\u201D rate of 27.16%, as the Spanish Government qualified the situation, with more than 6.2 million (6,202,700) unemployed people by the end of March. This represented a quarterly increase of 237,400 individuals and a yearly growth of 563,200 people. In Catalonia, at the end of the first quarter of the year, there were 17,100 more individuals who were without a job and looking for a new one than three months ago and 65,300 more than in March 2012. The previous unemployment historical high in Catalonia had just been set in the previous quarterly Active Population Survey, when the rate was 23.9% by the end of December. Unemployment increased throughout Catalonia in the last three months except in the western Province of Lleida. Lleida registered a relatively low rate with 16.59% of the active population being unemployed compared to the rest of the country and the unemployment rate had also decreased compared to a year ago. The Catalan Minister for the Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, asked the European Union \u201Cto prioritise\u201D policies stimulating growth. \u201CThey must realise that now a stimulus is needed and policies oriented towards growth have to be prioritised\u201D, he stated. Furthermore, Mas-Colell compared Europe\u2019s attitude with that of the United States or Japan, lamenting that European economic policies are \u201Cexcessively inclined towards austerity policies\u201D.


Andalusia\u2019s unemployment rate reached 36.87%

Unemployment in Catalonia increased by 17,100 over the first three months of the year and the rate was set at 24.53% by the end of March, an historical record high. The Basque Country \u2013 which has its own economic agreement with the Spanish Government \u2013 has Spain\u2019s lowest unemployment rate with 16.28% and Andalusia \u2013 which has Spain\u2019s largest population \u2013 has the highest rate with 36.87%. Unemployment increased through Spain. The largest quarterly growths are in Andalusia (31,100 more people), the Valencian Country (which is also called Valencian Community, with 27,400 more individuals) and the Balearic Islands (24,900). While comparing the situation with a year ago, in Andalusia there are now 144,100 more unemployed people; in Catalonia, 65,300 more; in Madrid Community, 49,500 and in the Valencian Country, 46,100.

In the province of Barcelona, unemployment only increased by 500 people

Looking at the four Catalan provinces, unemployment increased everywhere except in Lleida (western Catalonia). In Lleida \u2013 which is Catalonia\u2019s least populated area \u2013 the unemployment rate decreased by 2,700 during the first three months of the year. The rate by the end of March was 16.59%, with 34,600 jobseekers. This also represented 6,600 less individuals than a year ago. In the Province of Barcelona \u2013 in which two thirds of the Catalan population are concentrated \u2013 unemployment only increased by 500 people, setting a rate of 24.37%. By the end of March there were 652,000 individuals who were without a job and looking for one, 57,700 more than a year ago. In Tarragona Province (southern Catalonia, where the Costa Daurada is located), unemployment reached a rate of 28.98%, which is above the Spanish average. In Tarragona there were 121,700 unemployed people in March, 23,500 more than a year ago. Finally, in the Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) unemployment grew by 2,400 individuals and the rate was 25.11% by the end of March. There were 93,900 jobseekers in Girona, 9,300 more than a year ago.

Female unemployment is still higher despite there being more unemployed men in the last three months

Regarding genders, unemployment increased in the whole of Spain by 130,400 men and by 107,000 women in the first quarter of the year. The male unemployment rate increased 1.2 percentage points and reached 26.78%, while female unemployment grew by 1.06 percentage points and reached 27.61%. The gender proportions have been similar since 2008, with little distance between the two but with more women unemployed than men, according to the INE data.

Unemployment increased everywhere except in the construction sector

In the whole of Spain, unemployment decreased during the first term in the construction sector, with 11,000 fewer jobseekers. However, it increased in the service sector (86,500 more individuals), agriculture (29,100) and the industrial sector (22,800). In the last 12 months, unemployment increased in all the sectors, except in construction, with 105,300 fewer jobseekers.

Long-term unemployment increased

Unemployment also increased among people who lost their jobs more than a year ago, which is considered to be long-term unemployment (111,200 more individuals) but it decreased among those who are looking for a job for the first time (1,200 fewer jobseekers). The number of people included in the long-term unemployment category increased by 515,700 over the last year.

1.9 million households with all their members jobless

Furthermore, the number of households with all their active members unemployed increased by 72,400 in Spain during the first three months of 2013. By the end of March there were 1,906,100 households which had all their members without a job. On the other hand, the number of households with all their active members working decreased by 190,400 in the last 3 months, dropping to 8,143,900 homes. Looking at last year\u2019s figures, the number of households with all their members unemployed increased by 177,700 while that of households with all the members working decreased by 449,800.

Employment destruction

On top of this, employment in Spain decreased between January and March. By the end of March there were 322,300 fewer people working than three months ago. The total number of people with a job in Spain reached 16,634,700 individuals, which is around 35% of Spain\u2019s total population. In the last 12 months, employment has been reduced by 798,500 people in Spain. The decrease affected almost all the age groups, but those between 25 and 29 years old were particularly hit (with 69,000 fewer people with a job).

A decrease in the active population

The active population in Spain decreased by 85,000 people between January and March and represented 22,837,400, around 49% of Spain\u2019s total population. In annual terms, the active population decreased by 235,300 individuals. Catalonia registered 35,700 fewer people with a job at the end of March than three months previously and 164,200 fewer individuals than a year ago.

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  • The construction sector is the only one with an unemployment decrease (by ACN)

  • The construction sector is the only one with an unemployment decrease (by ACN)