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Catalonia leads unemployment reduction with a 7.9% drop in 2013

Catalonia ended 2013 with an unemployment rate of 22.26% and a total of 820,400 people unemployed, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) for the fourth quarter. In late 2013 Catalonia registered 64,700 fewer unemployed people compared to the last quarter of 2012. At Spanish level, the unemployment rate was set at 26.03 %, with a total of 5,896,300 unemployed people. At the end of 2013, there were 69,100 fewer unemployed than in the last quarter of 2012. Furthermore, between September and December there were 8,400 fewer jobseekers in Spain. In the same 3-month period there were 20,100 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia. The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment stated that these figures were “the best since the start of the crisis” since “for the first time, the number of employed has increased and the number of unemployed has decreased”.

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23 January 2014 07:52 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- Catalonia ended 2013 with an unemployment rate of 22.26 % and a total of 820,400 people unemployed, according to the fourth quarter figures of the Active Population Survey (EPA), published on Thursday by the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE). In late 2013, Catalonia registered 64,700 fewer unemployed people compared to the last quarter of 2012. At Spanish level, the unemployment rate was set at 26.03 %, with a total of 5,896,300 unemployed people. At the end of 2013, there were 69,100 fewer unemployed than in the last quarter of 2012, representing a 7.89% drop. Furthermore, between September and December there were 8,400 fewer jobseekers in Spain. In the same 3-month period, there were 20,100 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia. The 22.26 % unemployment rate registered in Catalonia in December 2013 is the lowest to be posted since the second quarter of 2012, when it stood at 21.95 %. The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Joan Aregio, stated that these figures were “the best since the start of the crisis” and that they “confirmed an improving trend for the Catalan economy”, since “for the first time, the number of employed has increased and the number of unemployed has decreased”. However, Aregio also stated that in spite of these encouraging figures “we must look to the future with caution”. Indeed, if the number of unemployed has significantly fallen in the Province of Barcelona, it has nevertheless increased in other parts of Catalonia.


Catalonia leading Spain for job creation and reduction of unemployment 

The Autonomous Communities which registered the highest increases in the number of newly employed people between the third and fourth quarters are Catalonia (+25,400), the Canaries (+22,000) and Valencia (also called Valencian Country) (+20,000). On the other hand, the largest declines of employed people were registered by the Balearic Islands (-61,900), Castilla y León (-25,500) and Galicia (-18,900).

In the past year, according to the INE, the number of employed people in Catalonia increased by 53,700 individuals. Meanwhile, in annual terms, the sharpest decreases in employment figures were posted by the Community of Madrid (-87,600), Andalusia (-43,300) and Galicia (-38,600).

The most significant decreases in the number of unemployed between the third and the fourth quarters were registered by the Canaries (-21,600) and Catalonia (-20,100). The sharpest unemployment increases were for the Community of Madrid (+37,400) and the Balearic Islands (+29,100).

In annual terms, the sharpest decline of unemployment levels were posted by Catalonia (-64,700), Extremadura (-13,600) and Castilla-La Mancha (-10,400). By contrast, the most significant unemployment increases were registered by the Community of Madrid (+25,600) and Castilla y León (+10,000).

The most significant unemployment decrease registered by the Province of Barcelona

The Province of Barcelona ended 2013 with an unemployment rate of 21.74 % and a total of 580,500 unemployed. Between the third and the fourth quarters, the number of unemployed has decreased by 38,600 people. In annual terms, there were 71,100 fewer jobseekers in the Barcelona Province at the end of December compared to the last quarter of 2012.

The Province of Lleida (western Catalonia) posted an unemployment rate of 16.23 % and a total of 35,000 people unemployed. Unemployment has increased by 3,700 people between the third and the fourth quarters. However, the Lleida Province recorded 2,300 fewer jobseekers compared to the last quarter of the previous year.

Increases in the number of unemployed for the Provinces of Tarragona and Girona

The Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia) registered an unemployment rate of 27.03% and a total of 113,000 unemployed. The number of jobseekers has increased by 7,200 people between the third and the fourth quarters of 2013, and by 8,200 people in annual terms.

The Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) registered an unemployment rate of 24.08% and a total of 92,000 unemployed. Unemployment has increased by 7,800 people between the third and the fourth quarters. In annual terms, the increase was more moderate. The Girona Province registered 500 additional jobseekers compared to the last quarter of 2012.

Despite slightly higher rates, the number of unemployed has also dropped in Spain

In the whole of Spain, the unemployment rate amounted to 26.03%, one hundred of a percentage point higher than the figure posted in late 2012, when it was at 26.02%. Furthermore, it is also five hundreds of a percentage point higher than the third quarter of 2013, when it was at 25.98%. In spite of this increase in percentages, the number of unemployed people registered in Spain has fallen in absolute terms, and for the first time since 2004, such numbers have decreased between the third and fourth quarters. The reason why there is a higher unemployment rate is because jobs are still being cut.

Despite lower unemployment rates, jobs are still being cut in many areas of Spain

Employment across Spain has dropped by 65,000 people this quarter, amounting to a total of 16,758,200 workers at the end of 2013. The decline in the number of employed people is the lowest for a fourth quarter since 2008, according to the INE. Between the third and fourth quarters of 2013, employment has decreased by 0.39 %. In annual terms, employment has also fallen by 198,900 people over the last twelve months, decreasing by 1.17 % the mildest drop in the last five years. However, in Catalonia employment increased by 53,700 people in annual terms and by 25,400 in quarterly terms.

Decreasing trend in most sectors, number of people unemployed for over a year rises

In the whole of Spain, between the third and fourth quarters, unemployment has increased in services (+26,000 unemployed). In contrast, such figures have decreased in agriculture (-39,900), construction (-21,300) and the industrial sector (-10,000). The number of unemployed who have lost their job for over a year has increased by 54,700 people whereas the number of people looking for their first job has dropped by 17,900.

In the past 12 months, unemployment has fallen in all sectors at Spanish level. There are 163,000 fewer jobseekers in services, 86,400 fewer in construction, 53,100 fewer in the industry, and 19,000 fewer in agriculture. In contrast, the number of unemployed who have lost their job for over a year has increased by 163,700 while the number of people looking for their first job has also increased by 88,700.

Over 1.8 million Spanish homes with all active members unemployed

Households where all active members are unemployed increased this quarter
by 24,600 to reach a total of 1,832,300 throughout Spain. Meanwhile, the number of households where all active family members have a job decreased by 32,800, amounting to a total of 8,260,300. In annual terms, households with only unemployed active member was quite stable (decreasing by less than 1,400), while households with all active members having a job has fallen by 74,000.

Different rates by sex, age and nationality

The unemployment rate for men has decreased by 51,600 whereas the unemployment rate for women increased by 43,200 in annual terms at Spanish level. The unemployment rate for women was up by 32 hundredths of a point and reached 26.87 %, while the rate for men was down two tenths, to stand at 25.31 %. According to the INE, the latest figures further validate a trend observed since 2008: relatively close rates and slightly more men than women unemployed in absolute terms.

By age, the decline in unemployment rates between the third and fourth quarters of 2013 has only been registered by people under 25, while in annual terms, the reduction in unemployment has been concentrated in the group aged between 20 to 54 years.

By nationality, unemployment has risen by 7,700 among Spanish citizens and is down by 16,100 for foreigners. The unemployment rate of foreigners is set at 36.60%, over ten points above the rate for the entire population (26.03%) and almost 12 points above the rate for Spanish-nationals (24.30%).

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  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) (by N. Julià)

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) (by N. Julià)