Unemployment continues downward trend in Catalonia despite minimum wage increase
Catalan government calls for a repeal of conservative Spanish labor reforms
Unemployment in Catalonia fell by 3.57% in the month of April, which ended with around 14,000 fewer people on the jobless register, according to new government data released on Monday.
The number of Catalans entering the workforce remains higher than figures for the whole of Spain, where unemployment went down by only 2.81% compared to previous month.
Catalonia's labor minister Chakir el Homrani hailed the statistics as "good news" and highlighted that it had been "the best April in 14 years" apart from 2017, which saw a 4.55% decrease.
Controversial labor reforms
Homrani said that the continued reduction in unemployment into the new financial year proved that the increase in the minimum wage to 900 euros a month had no negative impact.
He also called on the incoming Socialist-led government in Madrid to repeal the labor reforms passed by their conservative predecessors, designed to loosen employer regulation.
"Improving working conditions does not necessarily affect job creation," Homrani added.
The register showed a similar trend to an unemployment survey published last week by National Statistics Institute of Spain, which found joblessness in Catalonia to be at 11.64%.
A total of 381,598 people are currently registered by Catalan social services as unemployed, 281,000 of whom are in Barcelona, from a population of approximately 7.6 million.