Unemployment fell by 3,701 in Catalonia in March
It is the first time since 2007 that unemployment has dropped in the month of March. In total, at the end of last month there were 638,247 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia. The number of unemployed people decreased throughout Catalonia, especially in Girona and Tarragona provinces. However, in Spain, unemployment increased by 38,769 people, reaching a total figure of 4,750,867 jobseekers.
Madrid (ACN).- For the first time since 2007, unemployment dropped during the month of March in Catalonia. At the end of last month there were 638,247 people registered as unemployed in the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC), 3,701 less people than in the previous month. This represents a 0.58% drop in relation to February, according to data released on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. The drop in March is also the first time unemployment has decreased in 2012. However, in Spain unemployment increased by 38,769 people, reaching an historical record of 4,750,867 people being without a job and looking for a new one. In fact, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarra are the only Autonomous Communities where unemployment fell in March. Furthermore, the number of jobseekers also decreased throughout Catalonia, with a particular intensity in the provinces of Girona (northeastern Catalonia) and Tarragona (southern Catalonia), with a 2.95% and 1.85% drop respectively. In Barcelona Province, which corresponds to Greater Barcelona and Central Catalonia and concentrates two thirds of Catalonia\u2019s population, unemployment decreased by 0.08% and in Lleida (western Catalonia) by 0.45%.
The services sector leads the unemployment decrease
The largest drop in unemployment registered in Catalonia was due to the contribution of the services sector, which benefits from the push related to the Easter holidays, since most of the contracts are signed in March. The services sector in Catalonia experienced an unemployment drop of 3,144 people. It was followed by the construction sector, with 614 fewer unemployed people signing on, and the industrial sector, with a small drop of 127 jobseekers. However, agriculture added 40 people to the dole queues.
For the first time this year, unemployment among immigrants fell in Catalonia. At the end of March there were 1,835 fewer jobseekers, which represents a 1.27% drop. In total there were 142,969 foreigners without a job and looking for a new one.
Despite the positive unemployment decrease experienced in March, the number of new contracts signed in Catalonia during this particular month of the year (156,325) is the lowest in the last three years. In March 2009, the number was lower with 151,727 new contracts signed.
Catalonia is where unemployment decreases the most
In Spain, unemployment increased by 38,769 people in March. However, three of the Autonomous Communities experienced the opposite: Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarra. Catalonia is in fact where unemployment decreased the most in absolute terms (with 3,701 fewer unemployed people). It is followed by the Balearic Islands (2,230 people) and Navarra (392 individuals). In percentage terms, the Balearic Islands led with a 2.27% fall, followed by Navarra (0.75%) and Catalonia (0.58%).
Girona leads the unemployment drop in Catalonia
Within Catalonia, unemployment fell across the territory. Among the four Catalan provinces, Girona leads the unemployment decrease with 1,807 fewer people registered in the Catalan Public Employment Service\u2019s lists. This represents a 2,95% drop compared to February figures. In total there were 59,363 people registered as jobseekers. All sectors contributed to March\u2019s unemployment fall in Girona, except agriculture. However, compared to March 2011, unemployment has increased by 2.28% over the last 12 months.
Tarragona has been the second province where unemployment decreased the most within Catalonia, with a 1.85% drop. This means that at the end of March there were 73,082 people registered as being without a job and looking for a new one in Tarragona, 1,377 less than at the end of February. All sectors contributed to the fall in March in Tarragona, except agriculture. As was the case in all four provinces, despite the good results for March, unemployment has increased over the last 12 months, when comparing figures from March 2011. Last month there were 3,613 more people registered as unemployed in Tarragona than a year ago, a 5.2% increase.
In the Province of Lleida the total number of registered unemployed people at the end of March was 32,109 individuals, 146 fewer people than one month ago. This represents a 0.45% decrease. In Lleida, the construction sector led the recovery in March, followed by services and agriculture. However, as in Barcelona province, the industrial sector experienced a small unemployment increase. However, compared to March 2011, unemployment increased in Lleida by 2,113 people, a 7.04% rise, the highest percentage in Catalonia.
Finally, in Barcelona, which concentrates two thirds of the Catalan population, there were 473,693 people registered as unemployed. This represents a tiny drop of 371 people, a 0.08% decrease, compared to February. All the sectors contributed to the unemployment decrease (with very small figures), except the industrial sector that had an almost insignificant 30 people drop. Over the last 12 months, unemployment increased in Barcelona by 4.39%, 19,926 more people than in March 2011.