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Unemployment falls slightly in March with half a million still left without work

There are now 505,900 jobless in Catalonia, an increase of 21.31% compared to the same month last year


06 April 2021 09:19 AM


ACN | Barcelona

Unemployment fell by 6,390 during the month of March compared to February, leaving a total of 505,900 people without work - a monthly decrease of 1.25% - according to figures released by the ministry of labour.  

These figures represent an increase of 21.31% jobless in Catalonia specifically 88,853 more unemployed, compared to one year ago, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were just beginning to be felt.

Catalonia closed the month of March with 3,376,137 residents registered with social security, 16,989 more than in February (0.50%). However, there are 23,651 fewer jobs than in March last year.

February 2021 saw a near 30% rise in unemployment compared to the same month of the previous year. These were the largest unemployment figures seen in Catalonia since January 2016, with 81,563 jobs wiped out by the pandemic in the prior 12 months. 

These numbers are based on the amount of people registered with the social services, but unemployment in Catalonia is also calculated by Spain's quarterly labour force survey (EPA).

The most recent data for jobless workers corresponding to this method was released at the end of January and accounts for the final three months of 2020, which indicates unemployment rose to 13.87%, with 537,900 Catalans finding themselves without work. 

As for the workers who are registered on the temporary layoff scheme who do not count in these unemployment statistics, there are currently 157,873, a decrease compared to 190,902 in February.

Unemployment figures across Spain

Across Spain, the number of unemployed has fallen below four million people, with 3,949,640, with 59,149 fewer people without work in March compared to February, a decrease of 1.48%.

Compared to the same month last year, unemployment has gone up by 11.31%, meaning 401,328 more jobless.


  • An unemployment office in the city of Barcelona (by Ivette Lehmann)

  • An unemployment office in the city of Barcelona (by Ivette Lehmann)