Unemployment in Catalonia stabilises in November

With a marginal increase of 111 people, unemployment stabilised last month. The Catalan Government believes the stagnation in the unemployment figures corresponds to the first effects of its action plan launched at the end of October. In Spain, unemployment increased by 59,536 people at the end of November. The latest data set a new historical record for unemployment in both Catalonia and Spain.


December 2, 2011 11:12 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- November registered a marginal unemployment increase of  just 111 people in Catalonia. This puts the total number of jobseekers at 615,669 citizens according to data from the Spanish Ministry of Employment released on Friday. The figure represents a new historical record, as was the case in October. However, the Catalan Minister for Employment, Francesc Xavier Mena, stressed that the slight increase is linked to the launch, in October, of the Catalan Government’s action plan against unemployment. He added that the increase in November is the lowest since 2000.  Looking at the data from each individual province, unemployment fell in Barcelona and Lleida, but increased in Tarragona and particularly in Girona. At the end of November in Spain there was a total of 59,536 more people registered as unemployed compared to the end of October. Spain has subsequently reached a new historical record with 4,420,462 people registered as unemployed.

At the end of November, there were 111 more people out of work  in Catalonia, which represents a marginal increase of 0.00018%. In statistical terms, it can be said that the continuous rise in unemployment figures in Catalonia came to a halt in November. Together with Madrid and Melilla, it is the only place in Spain to have experienced a decrease or stagnation in unemployment. In Spain, it increased by 59,536 people in October, to which Catalonia contributed just 0.2%, when it is responsible for 19% of Spain’s GDP and has 16% of its population.

Unemployment decrease in Barcelona and Lleida

The four Catalan provinces registered different trends in November. Barcelona and Lleida saw the number of unemployed people decrease by 359 and 754 respectively. However, in Girona the number of people registered as unemployed grew by 1,097, while in Tarragona it increased by 127.

Since 2000, when the Spanish Ministry of Employment commenced historical figures for the Autonomous Communities, November has traditionally been a month of unemployment increases. There has only been one exception: November 2010, when there was a fall of 1,955 people. This 2011 has had the month of November with the lowest increase (111 people) since historical figures began. The previous lowest increase in the same month was in 2007, when 1,158 more people were added to the lists of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC).

The Catalan industrial sector leads the unemployment decrease

When looking at a breakdown in the economy of Catalonia, the industrial sector registered the best figures in November, with a fall of 1,176 people registered as unemployed. Catalonia recorded the largest decrease in the sector throughout Spain. However, the services sector has seen the loss of 2,768 people. They have now been added to the registry of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC). Nevertheless, the other sectors of the economy, including construction, contributed to the fall in the number of people signing on as unemployed.

Fewer people covered by unemployment benefits

The number of people receiving unemployment assistance or another type of subsidy, has dropped significantly in only one year. In October (the data is released with a one month delay) 67.7% of the people registered in Spain as unemployed received financial aid. In October 2010, the percentage was 75.3%. This represents 7.6 percentage points less. However, in Catalonia the decrease in one year time has reached 17 percentage points, falling from 86.77% to 69.91%.

The Catalan Government believes its action plan against unemployment is reaping rewards

The Catalan Minister for Employment, Francesc Xavier Mena, considered November’s figures to be “very positive”, as the trend of increasing unemployment figures in Catalonia has come to an abrupt halt.  Mena stated that the structural measures implemented and the action plan against unemployment he launched at the end of October are behind the stabilisation of unemployment figures in Catalonia. Furthermore, he said the Government will continue to improve the competitiveness of the Catalan economy.

However, the main opposition party, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) has asked the Catalan Minister for Employment to explain the employment policies he wishes to promote while “facing historic unemployment figures”.