371,000 registered jobseekers in January, 26% fewer than a year ago

Unemployment slightly up in first month of 2022 compared to December

Image of SEAT Martorell plant on September 29, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons)
Image of SEAT Martorell plant on September 29, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons) / Scarlett Reiners

ACN | Barcelona

February 2, 2022 09:19 AM

January saw another significant year-to-year drop in unemployment in Catalonia.

According to figures released on Wednesday by Spain's work ministry, 371,802 people were registered as jobseekers as of end of January, 26.8% fewer than a year before, that is, 132,279 fewer than in January 2021.

Yet, unemployment slightly increased in the first month of this year compared to December 2021, with 2,644 more people looking for work.

In the second half of 2021, Catalonia recovered the pre-pandemic unemployment figures, under 400,000 people out of work. Covid-19 skyrocketed the figure of registered jobseekers, which reached 512,290 in February 2021. 

Yet, both in December 2021 and January 2022 the effects of the sixth wave were noticed as the decrease halted.

As for those in a temporary layoff, Catalonia registered 26,312 in January, which roughly accounts for a quarter of those in Spain.

In Spain, the number of registered unemployed people wass lightly over 3.1 million, which meant 17,173 more than in December, but 841,275 fewer than twelve months before (-21.2%). 

Two ways of calculating unemployment

The figures differ from those from the latest Labor Force Survey (EPA in Spanish), which is published every three months. The variation in the figures can be attributed to the different methods for gathering data.

The work ministry figures, published in this article, are based on the number of jobseekers registered with the Employment Service, while the EPA figures are taken from surveying a broad sample of 65,000 households, or some 200,000 individuals, all over Spain.

Indeed, according to the latest EPA, showing figures of the fourth quarter of 2021, the jobless rate in December 2021 stood at 10.16%, almost 4 points down from the figure one year before; 13.87%. 

There were 395,400 unemployed people at the end of 2021, which means 142,500 fewer than a year before.