Downward trend continues despite unemployment increase in August

Catalonia has recorded the lowest post-August unemploymenttotal since 2008

Despite the increase in August, unemployment are still below 2018 (Andrea Zamorano)
Despite the increase in August, unemployment are still below 2018 (Andrea Zamorano) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

September 3, 2019 10:48 AM

The figure of unemployment in Catalonia was measured at 371,418 after 12,588 people were registered as unemployed in the month of August, according to the Ministry of Labour.

August is the second consecutive month that the figure has increased, after an increase of 1,558 people in July. This is also the biggest July-August increase since 2011.

However, with August constituting Catalonia’s busiest month of the year touristically, the increase is nothing alarming.

Indeed, the rise in figures this August is the lowest since 2008, and the total number of unemployed citizens in Catalonia has dropped 2.44% compared to this stage last year, when it was at over 380,000.

Spain also sees drop 

Unemployment in Spain has remained above 3 million people, but the signs are positive. A small increase of 1.2% in August (54,371 people) has taken its total to 3,065,804. This increase was again the lowest in 10 years.

This comes after the tallies of June and July respectively recorded their lowest unemployment totals since 2008. Unemployment would then increase following the start of the financial crisis, triggering a recession that stretched across several years.

Minimum wage increase does not buck downward trend 

Earlier this year, minimum wage in Spain was increased to €900 per month. After concerns that this would increase unemployment, Catalonia’s labor minster Chakir el Homrani assured that “improving working conditions does not necessarily affect job creation.” The decrease this summer compared to last year shows that this may indeed be the case.