Catalonia's registered unemployment falls by 5,481 people in November, the biggest decline on record

According to the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the number of unemployed people registered in Catalonia stood at 581,652 in November, representing a decrease of 0.93% since October, with 5,481fewer people without jobs. In terms of the unemployment data, last November was the best one in Catalonia since the data series began in 1996, 18 years ago. In annual terms, unemployment is down again and marks 17 consecutive months of decreases, though with the November decline this makes it an -8.8% decline this year, the most extreme fall since June 2000 (which was -9.25%). Across the whole of Spain, November has also shown the best unemployment figures on historical record, with 14,688 less people unemployed. Within Catalonia, unemployment fell in Barcelona and Lleida, but increased in Girona and Tarragona. 

A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)
A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN) / ACN


December 2, 2014 11:11 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Last November showed the biggest decrease in registered unemployment in Catalonia for 18 years. According to official data from the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security released on Tuesday, unemployment in Catalonia this November has fallen by 0.93%, with 5,481 fewer people unemployed than October, the largest decline since the data series began in 1996. In annual terms, unemployment is down again representing 17 consecutive months of decreases. The November results mean that this year registered unemployment has fallen by -8.8%, making it the most intense decline on record since June 2000, when the annual decrease was -9.25%. In Catalonia, the month of November has traditionally been one where unemployment tends to rise; since the series began in 1996 there have been only two previous occasions where unemployment fell during this month. Across the whole of Spain, last November was also the best of the series, with a decrease in unemployment of 14,688 people. Within Catalonia, unemployment fell in Barcelona and Barcelona and Lleida this month, and rose in Girona and Tarragona. The Catalan Government issued a statement on the November unemployment figures, in which they called the results "especially" relevant to making 2014 a "good year". 

Record unemployment decrease in November

The positive results for this November have broken a trend of increases in employment in monthly terms, which had already accumulated three consecutive months. In terms of annual figures, the data from November demonstrate that there are 56,692 fewer people unemployment this year in Catalonia than the same time in 2013.


According to the Ministry, this November, the number of unemployed in the whole of Spain stood at 4,512,116 people. Seasonally adjusted, registered unemployment has dropped by 51,308 people, the most intense November reduction in the whole series, and the second largest of any month.

In relation to November 2013, unemployment has fallen by -6.17% throughout Spain, representing 296,792 less people unemployed, which is the biggest annual decline since 1998.

During the first eleven months of 2014, registered unemployment has fallen by 189.220 people, the largest cumulative decline in the same period for the last 16 years, according to official Ministry data.

Industry takes centre stage

The decrease in the number of unemployed in Catalonia this November, is thanks to the industry and construction sectors. The industry sector is responsible for removing 1,523 people from the unemployment lists of the Employment Service of Catalonia (SOC). Through industrial activity creating jobs, the sector has been responsible for falls in unemployment in every month last year, with the exception of August and January. Thus, since last November, the number of unemployed in the Catalan industry sector has been reduced by 12,280 people. The number of unemployed in the industrial sector, currently 78,956 persons, is the lowest on record since October 2008.

The construction industry has also helped reduce unemployment, with a decrease of 2,114 jobless persons. For the last three years, there has been a downward trend in unemployment in the construction sector, although experts put this down to the abandonment of the sector by the jobless. Nevertheless, this decrease of 2,114 people also coincides with a slight upturn in the macroeconomic data of the construction sector.

To a lesser extent, the sectors of agriculture and services have also reduced their number of unemployed. In the case of the primary sector, the number of unemployed has reduced by 725 people, while in the services sector there has been a drop of 422 fewer people unemployed.

The number of people registering as unemployed for the first time is 697 less than the month of October, which supposes there is little confidence in the labour market.


By province, unemployment has fallen in Barcelona and Lleida (in central and western Catalonia respectively), while it has increased in Girona and Tarragona (north-easterrn and southern Catalonia).

In Barcelona, the number of unemployed in November stood at 428,634 people, 1.35% less than October, representing 5,871 fewer jobless. In relation to November 2013, the reduction was of 46,062 people, 9.7% less, the highest percentage drop in the last 17 months of annual declines.


In Girona, November ended with 55,553 people registered as unemployed in the Employment Service of Catalonia (SOC) which represents 523 more people without jobs than October, an increase of 0.95%. In annual terms, Girona has accumulated 16 consecutive months of declines and the fall in November compared to last year was 4,081, 6.84% less.


In Lleida, the number of unemployed persons in November stood at 29,138 people without jobs, which is 153 fewer than in October, -0.52%. In relation to November 2013, the reduction was 2,181 people, a decline of -6.96%. Lleida accumulated 18 consecutive months of annual declines in unemployment.


Finally, in Tarragona November ended with 68,327 unemployed on the lists of SOC, 0.03% more than in October, representing 20 more jobless. In annual terms, Tarragona accumulated 17 consecutive months of declines and this November the drop was 4,368 people, 6.01% less than last year.


There were 197,027 new contracts signed in Catalonia this November, 14.68% more than the same time last year. Of these, 24,075 were permanent contracts, 12.22% of the total, while last year they represented 10.97% of the total. In relation to November last year, the number of permanent contracts grew by 27.77% while those of temporary contracts increased by 13.07%.

3 out 5 unemployed receiving benefits

Of the total number of registered unemployed in the lists of the Catalan Employment Services, 59% are receiving some kind of benefits from the state, 3 out of every 5 people.

To calculate the number of people receiving benefits data from the previous month is used, thus this calculation is based on the number of people receiving state benefits, subsidies or unemployment income, in relation to October, which stood at 587,133 people.

2014 will be "a good year" in the fight against unemployment

The Catalan Government has welcomed the drop in unemployment represented by November’s data, which was published on Tuesday. According to Joan Aregio, Deputy Catalan Minsiter for Employment and Industrial Relations, it shows that 2014 will be "a good year" in reducing the number of jobless. The Catalan Ministry representative also pointed out that the month of December will bring additional jobs through hiring for the Christmas season, predicting that the year will end with positive employment figures.

"December is traditionally a good month I suppose that it will add to the positive figures" in generating new jobs, said Aregio. He indicated that the drop in unemployment of more than 5,400 people in November is "especially" relevant, as this month is traditionally more prone to a rise in unemployment. Moreover, the increase in membership of the Social Security system (the equivalent of National Insurance in Catalonia) is something "rare in November" according to the Ministry representative. It showed that last year fewer people registered as unemployed, and 14% more have been hired. "All these data have contributed to the final result" said Aregio, who also mentioned the construction industry in its contribution to reducing unemployment.