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Catalonia registers lowest increase in unemployment for the month of January in last 8 years

Registered unemployment in Catalonia grew by 6,821 people by the end of January, compared to figures from December. However, it is the lowest increase since 2007 for a month in which many seasonal contracts related to Christmas sales end. Furthermore, more good news comes in the form of the 8.06% drop in annual terms posted in January and the fact that registered unemployment has been decreasing for the last 19 consecutive months in annual terms. However, registered unemployment has also been increasing in monthly terms for the last 3 consecutive months (November, December and January). In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment increased by 77,980 people compared to a month ago, also the lowest increase for this time of year since 2007.

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03 February 2015 05:47 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Registered unemployment in Catalonia grew by 6,821 people by the end of January, compared to figures from December, according to data released on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. However, it is the lowest increase since 2007 for a month in which many seasonal contracts related to Christmas sales end and unemployment tends to grow (with the only exception since 1997, when comparable figures started, being 1998). Furthermore, more good news comes in the form of the 8.06% drop in annual terms posted in January, with 51,102 fewer people on the lists of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC). This is the largest drop in unemployment registered in a 12-month period in absolute terms since the start of the statistical series in 1997 (in relative terms, in January 2000 a 10.84% annual decrease was posted). In fact, registered unemployment has been decreasing for the last 19 consecutive months in Catalonia in annual terms (since July 2013). However, registered unemployment has also been increasing in monthly terms for the last 3 consecutive months (November, December and January). At the end of last week there were 582,769 active jobseekers on the lists of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC). In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment increased by 77,980 compared to a month ago, also the lowest increase for this time of the year since 2007. By the end of January there were 4,525,691 people registered as being unemployed in the whole of Spain. This represents a 6% drop in annual terms, with 288,744 fewer jobseekers, the biggest decrease since 1998.


The sectors that posted the best figures were construction and industry. In fact, many think tanks and governmental forecasts have been stating that the construction sector has already reached its lowest point due to the financial crisis and the real estate bubble, and that it is already improving its situation. Figures from January 2015 would appear to confirm these predictions. Registered unemployment within the construction sector decreased by 1.47% in monthly terms, with 1,010 fewer people on the SOC’s lists. Furthermore, in annual terms, the sector has registered a 20% drop, with 16,873 fewer jobseekers. The industrial sector also posted positive figures, with 274 fewer jobseekers in January than a month previous and with 12,932 fewer people on the SOC’s lists than 12 months ago, representing a 14.19% annual drop.

The service sector contributed to the monthly increase

However, the service sector, highly influenced by the end of the Christmas season, contributed to the increase of registered unemployment figures with 6,920 more jobseekers at the end of January than a month ago. However, it is the lowest increase within this sector for the month of January since 2007. Furthermore, in annual terms, the service sector posted positive figures, with a 6% drop, representing 25,035 fewer people on the SOC lists.

Registered unemployment displayed similar behaviour throughout Catalonia

The number of people registered as unemployed increased in monthly terms and decreased in annual terms in all 4 Catalan provinces. In Barcelona Province (where two-thirds of Catalans live), there were 427,117 people registered as jobseekers, a 0.99% growth compared to December (4,182 more people) and an 8.8% drop in annual terms (41,208 individuals). The Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) had 55,903 people registered as unemployed in January, a 1.34% increase on December figures (741 more jobseekers) and a 6.94% drop in annual terms (4,168 fewer individuals unemployed). The Province of Lleida (western Catalonia) ended January with 29,687 people on the SOC’s lists, a 2.26% increase in monthly terms (657 more people) and a 5.33% annual drop (1,671 fewer unemployed). Lastly, the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia) had 70,062 people registered as unemployed, a 1.8% increase compared to December figures (1,241 more jobseekers) and a 5.47% drop in annual terms (4,055 fewer people unemployed).

Number of contracts signed increased by 13% in Catalonia in annual terms

205,752 new contracts were signed in Catalonia in January; 19,738 more than in December (a 10.61% increase). This represents an increase of 23,139 new contracts compared to January 2014, a 12.67% growth. Out of the 205,752 new contracts signed in January 2015, 12.65% of them were permanent (26,023 contracts) - this was 11.56% a year ago. Meanwhile, temporary contracts represent 87.35% of the new documents signed, while a year ago they represented 88.40%. Permanent positions increased by 23.29% in annual terms and temporary contracts grew by 11.28% in the same period.

40.31% of the people on the SOC lists do not receive any public money 

232,192 people registered on the SOC’s lists in December (this figure always comes with a one-month delay) did not receive unemployment benefits nor any grant or subsidy, meaning they were not receiving any public money. They represent 40.31% of all the people registered. This means that 59.69% (343,756 individuals) were receiving some sort of public financial assistance. From this last group, 52.85% of them (181,663 people) were receiving only 426 euros per month (149,058 who got an extension of their unemployment benefit and 32,605 who qualified for the minimum insertion income). The rest, 162,093 people (28.14% of the total number of jobseekers), were receiving the regular allowance.

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  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) in Barcelona a few months ago (by H. Lins)

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) in Barcelona a few months ago (by H. Lins)