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Unemployment falls by 4,300 people in Catalonia and by 2,000 in the whole of Spain

In February, 629,586 people were enrolled on the unemployment lists in Catalonia, representing a decrease of 4,285 unemployed people on the same month last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Employment and Social Security Ministry. It is also the sharpest decline for a month of February since 2004, when 5,138 fewer jobseekers were registered. With this latest drop in the unemployment figures, Catalonia has achieved eight consecutive months of registered unemployment reduction in annual terms. In the whole of Spain, unemployment stood at 4,812,486 people, down by 1,949 people in February. It is the first decrease for the month of February since the beginning of the crisis in 2007.

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04 March 2014 08:44 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- In February, 629,586 people were enrolled on the unemployment lists in Catalonia, representing a decrease of 4,285 unemployed people on the same month last year. According to these latest figures released by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, it is also the sharpest decline for a month of February since 2004, when 5,138 fewer jobseekers were registered. With this latest drop in the unemployment figures, Catalonia has achieved eight consecutive months of unemployment reduction in annual terms. Following such results, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Joan Aregio, stressed that the Catalan economy was going “in the right direction”, as the recent positive results are being “consolidated”. He also underlined that Catalonia was amongst the leading Autonomous Communities in Spain in terms of unemployment reduction. In the whole of Spain, unemployment stood at 4,812,486 people, down by 1,949 people in February. It is the first decrease for the month of February since 2007, before the current economic crisis.


Following the release of such figures, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Joan Aregio was “cautiously optimistic” as the effects of the crisis are deep and the situation very complex. However “that does not make us forget about the improvement” of the unemployment data registered in February, he explained. Aregio stressed that the Catalan economy was going “in the right direction”, as the recent positive results are being “consolidated”.

Sharpest February drop in 10 years

Unemployment figures registered in Catalonia have revealed contradictory trends for the month of February since the series first started in 1996. However, every year since the beginning of the crisis, in 2008, the month of February has registered a growth in unemployment figures, a trend that has been broken for the first time this year.

In addition, the reduction of unemployment in February 2014 is also the sharpest decline registered in Catalonia since 2004, when there were 5,138 fewer jobseekers on the unemployment lists. The sharpest drop ever recorded for a month of February still dates back from 1998, when 5,900 fewer jobseekers were registered.

The most significant drop since July in annual terms

During the crisis, for all February months from 2008 to 2013, unemployment figures increased significantly. The highest increase ever recorded since 1996 occurred in February 2009 when the number of jobseekers rose by 23,730 people.

With this drop in unemployment figures in February, Catalonia has accumulated eight consecutive months of decrease in annual terms. In addition, this latest decrease, by 5.35%, is the sharpest registered during these eight months of annual declines, a series which started last July.

Such a sharp drop in annual terms had not occurred since 1999

The fall in absolute terms in the month of February amounted to 35,590 people, also the highest decrease in eight months. Besides this decrease in annual terms is the most significant to be registered since October 1999, when unemployment fell by 37,700 people (-14.31 %) on October 1998.

Unemployment figures in the industry and construction fall to 2009 levels

Unemployment dropped in all sectors except agriculture, which accounted for 372 more jobseekers since January 2014 and 619 more since February 2013.

In February 2014, there were 89,706 jobseekers in the industrial sector, representing a decrease of 1,428 people compared with January 2014 (-1.57%) and 8,478 people compared with February 2013 (-8.63%). The number of jobseekers in the industry is the lowest registered since January 2009, when it reached 86,703 people.

Construction has also reduced its number of unemployed workers. This February, the number of jobseekers in this sector totalled 83,627 people, which represents a drop by 1,044 people since January (-1.23%) and by 15,465 people compared with February 2013 (-15.61%). As in the industry, the number of jobseekers in the construction sector had not been this low since January 2009.

Finally, services have also reduced their number of jobseekers, which amounted to 409,728 people in February, 3,353 people less than in January (-0.81%), and 13,310 less (-3.15%) than in February 2013.

Unemployment falls in all provinces except Tarragona

Unemployment has fallen in three of the four provinces of Catalonia. Tarragona is the only province which registered an increase with 696 more jobseekers compared with the month of January.

Barcelona achieves eight months of annual decline

Barcelona ended the month of February with 464,314 people enrolled on the lists of the Employment Service of Catalonia (SOC), meaning 4,011 less people than in January (-0.86%) and 28,94 less than in February last year (-5.72%). With this latest drop, Barcelona, like Catalonia as a whole, has accumulated eight consecutive months of declines. Moreover, the 5.72% decrease is the sharpest registered during such a period and the most significant in the province since March 2007.

Girona registers the sharpest annual fall since 2007

Regarding the Province of Girona, the number of jobseekers totalled 59,264 people in February, amounting to a drop by 807 people compared with January (-1.34%) and 2,763 people compared with February 2013 (-4.45%). Girona has accumulated seven consecutive months of annual decline while the 4.45% drop is the sharpest registered since April 2007 when unemployment fell by 4.72%.

Nine months of annual declines in the Province of Lleida

In Lleida , the number of registered jobseekers fell to 31,195 people, representing a decrease by 163 people (-0.52%) since January and by 2,022 people compared with February 2013 (-6.09%). The Province of Lleida accumulated nine consecutive months of annual declines, the longest series of all four Catalan Provinces. The 6.09 % drop recorded in February is the most significant of such a period and the sharpest registered in the Province since March 2007 when unemployment fell by 10.18%.

Tarragona registers the sharpest annual fall since 2005

Finally, Tarragona is the only province in Catalonia where unemployment has increased in February compared with the month of January. The total number of jobseekers amounted to 74,813 people in February, 696 more than in January (+0.94%) but 2,611 less than February 2013 (-3.37%). With this drop in annual terms, Tarragona accumulated eight consecutive months of declines while the 3.37% drop is the most significant of these eight months and the sharpest registered since December 2005.

Number of contracts up by 11% in a year

The number of contracts signed in Catalonia in February totalled 161,681, meaning 20,932 less than in January (-11.46%). However, such a number has increased by 15,602 compared with the month of February last year (+10.68%).

Despite the recent Labour Market Reform, the duality of the labour market has persisted. This February, 20,671 of these contracts were permanent ones, meaning 12.78% while 141,010 were temporary contracts, representing 87.21% of the total number. These percentages are similar to those registered in February 2013 when permanent contracts accounted for 12.73% of the total number and temporary ones for 87.26%.

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

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