Unemployment drops for the 7th consecutive month in annual terms but registers a monthly increase
In annual terms, there were 27,946 less registered unemployed people in January 2014 than in January 2013, meaning a 4.22 % drop. Seven consecutive months of decreases in the registered unemployed figures had not been achieved since June 2007. Besides, in monthly terms, the latest figures also show a positive trend. Indeed, January is traditionally a month where unemployment increases, with the only drop recorded since 1997, the beginning of the series, dating back to January 1998. In January 2014, unemployment grew by 8,999 people compared to December 2013, the mildest increase registered in that month since 2007. Referring to these latest figures, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment stated that he was “moderately optimistic”.
Madrid (ACN) .- In annual terms, the registered unemployment figures have decreased for the seventh consecutive month in Catalonia. Indeed, there were 27,946 less unemployed people in January 2014 than in January 2013, meaning a 4.22 % drop. An unemployment reduction lasting for at least seven months in a row had not been registered since June 2007, before the financial crisis. In monthly terms, the latest figures were also positive. January is traditionally a month where unemployment increases, as shown by the yearly statistics of the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security which were first released in January 1997. During these years, there was only one drop recorded in unemployment in the first month of the year, dating back to January 1998. In January 2014, in monthly terms, unemployment grew by 8,999 people, representing a 1.44% rise and the mildest increase recorded in this month since 2007. Referring to these latest figures, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations stated he was “moderately optimistic”, adding that Catalonia “is on the right track and that things are improving gradually”. In the whole of Spain registered unemployment dropped by 3.34% in annual terms, a yearly decrease for the 4th consecutive month. In monthly terms, registered unemployment in Spain in January totalled 4,814,435 people, meaning 113,097 more jobseekers than in December and a 2.41% increase. This rise in unemployment is also the mildest to have been registered since 2007 in absolute terms, but in relative terms, it was surpassed in January 2004, when unemployment fell by 2.35%.
In Catalonia, in annual terms, the 27,946 fewer jobseekers represent the most significant decrease registered since January 1999 when unemployment fell by 49,900 people and 16.29%.
The monthly unemployment figures have registered increases every year in January except in 1998, when 1,100 fewer people were listed on the unemployment rolls. In January 2014, unemployment grew by 8,999 people, the mildest increase recorded in January since 2007.
Fewer jobseekers in the services and industry sectors in annual terms
In the service sector, in annual terms, unemployment has dropped by 7,361 people and 1.75%. In monthly terms, it registered the highest increase among the economic sectors with 8,322 more jobseekers and a 2.06% rise compared to December 2013.
The industry also registered a drop in annual terms with 7,245 fewer jobseekers, amounting to a 7.36% decrease. However, compared to December, there were 486 more unemployed people, meaning a 0.54% increase.
Both annual and monthly increases for the primary sector
In annual terms, the primary sector is the only sector which registered an increase, with 691 more jobseekers, a 5.17% increase. In monthly terms, the number of unemployed increased by 158 people and 1.14% to reach 14,051 jobseekers.
An 11-month downward trend for the construction sector
The construction sector, where the workers who were laid off at the very beginning of the crisis have gradually been removed from the registered unemployment lists, has reduced its number of unemployed and is currently leading the figures with an 11-month downward trend. In January 2014, there were 14,399 fewer jobseekers than in January 2013 and 554 fewer compared to December 2013.
Decrease in annual terms throughout Catalonia and sharpest drops for Lleida and Barcelona
In all four Catalan provinces unemployment dropped in annual terms and increased in monthly terms. Lleida has accumulated 8 consecutive months of annual decline, Barcelona and Tarragona 7 months and Girona 6 months. In monthly terms, the Provinces of Lleida, Tarragona and Girona have all three registered higher increases in the number of unemployed than the Catalan average, which stands at 1.44%.
The Province of Lleida (western Catalonia) registered the sharpest drop in annual terms, with 1,616 fewer people unemployed in January 2014 than in the same month last year, meaning a 4.90% decrease. On the other hand, there were 787 more jobseekers compared to December 2013, a 2.57% increase. In January 2014, there were a total of 31,358 registered unemployed people in Lleida.
In the Province of Barcelona (central Catalonia), in annual terms, unemployment dropped by 21,862 people and 4.46%. There were 4,851 more jobseekers than in December, meaning a 1.05% increase. In January 2014, there were 468,325 unemployed people in the Province of Barcelona.
In the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia), the drop in the number of unemployed, in annual terms amounted to 2,562 fewer jobseekers, a 3.34 % decrease. On the other hand, there were 2,071 more unemployed compared to December 2013 that is to say a 2.87 % increase. In January 2014, the Tarragona Province accounted for 74,117 unemployed people.
In the Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia), in annual terms, there were 1,906 fewer jobseekers registered compared to January 2013, meaning a 3.08% decrease. In monthly terms, there were 1,290 more unemployed than in December 2013, representing a 2.19% increase. The total number of unemployed people in the Province of Girona stood at 60,071 in January 2014.
Increase in the number of temporary contracts
In January 2014, 182,613 contracts were signed, amounting to a 7.57 % increase over January 2013. Out of these contracts, only 11.56 % (21,107) were permanent while the overwhelming majority were temporary: 88.44 % (161,506).
Compared to the month of January last year, the number of temporary contracts increased by 8.68 % while the number of permanent contracts dropped by 0.24%.
35.85% of the total number of unemployed people do not receive any benefit or social grant
According to data for the month of December, the number of people who received some kind of benefit (contributory allowance or insertion income) amounted to 400,866 people, representing 64.15 % of the total number of unemployed in December in Catalonia (624,872 people). Furthermore, only 203,761 people received contributory pensions, meaning 32.61 % of the total number of unemployed.
The Catalan Government is “moderately optimistic”
Following the release of the latest unemployment figures, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Joan Aregio, stated that he was “moderately optimistic”. He explained that “in a crisis like we the one we have, it is important to look at the unemployment figures closely, but also from afar”. Indeed, in spite of the extra 8,999 people unemployed since December 2013, Joan Aregio stressed that unemployment had fallen by 27,946 people and 4.22 % since January 2013.
Besides, the Deputy Minister insisted that “January is one of the worst months of the year from the unemployment point of view” but during this latest month, “unemployment has risen the least since before the start of the crisis”, with the mildest increase since January 2007. “The consequences of the crisis are grave and deep, but we see signs that tend to show us that we are on the right track and that things are improving gradually” concluded Aregio.