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Unemployment list increases by 13,000 people in February in Catalonia

602,611 people were unemployed at the end of February in Catalonia, which is 2.2% more than at the end of January.


02 March 2011 10:00 PM


ACN / Paula Mateu

Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Ministry for Labour and Immigration released the unemployment figures for last February. It is bad news for Catalonia and the entire Spain. 12,988 more people were jobless at the end of February, which means 2.2% more than in January. In total there are 602,611 unemployed people in Catalonia. The annual variation is also negative, but more moderate than the monthly change; compared to February 2010, 0.89% more people were looking for a job this year. In the rest of Spain, unemployment lists calculated 68,260 people more at the end of February, which represents a monthly variation of 1.6% in comparison to January 2011. The total number of jobless people in Spain is almost 4.23 million people, which is 4% more than 12 months ago.

The Spanish Minister for Labour and Immigration, Valeriano Gómez, already warned about the negative figures: February tens to be a bad month regarding unemployment rate. And it was. With the 12,988 more unemployed people, Catalonia is the second autonomous community where unemployment grew the most within Spain during last February in absolute terms. Andalusia got the worst results with an increase of more than 14,000 people. In relative terms, Catalonia is also in a moderately bad position this February, just behind Ceuta, La Rioja, Murcia, Cantabria, the Valencian Community and Asturias. Only the Balearic Islands had less unemployed people at the end of February.

In absolute term, Barcelona is the province where unemployment increased the most in Catalonia but also in the entire Spain. 10,090 people more enrolled unemployment lists at the end of February, which means 2.31% more than last January and 0.48% more than February 2010. Tarragona and Lleida, however, got a worst relative figure, with an increase of 2.46% and 2.37% respectively in comparison to last January. Girona also received bad news, but its unemployment lists only grew with 565 more people, 0.99% more than last month.

Industry unemployment

When it comes to sector industries, all of them saw negative results in February in Catalonia. The service industry was the one with worst figures, with 8,736 more unemployed people. In total, it has 359,669 people without a job. Most of them are in the Barcelona province (up to 271,329). Construction comes second, with 1,025 more unemployed people in Catalonia at the end of February. In total, it reaches 101,065 people without a job. The industrial sector saw 685 people losing their job and not getting a new one in February, totalling 68,643 people. Finally, in the primary industry (agriculture and fishing), 663 people more were counted as unemployed at the end of the month, which puts the total figure at 10,735 people. Finally, from the people without a job, 1,879 people more are looking for one and are thus registered in the unemployment lists. This collective reached 32,739 people in February.

In the whole of Spain, all industries noted bad results. In relative terms, agriculture had the worst figures, with 6.6% more unemployed people than in January. In absolute terms, the service industry got the worst position, with 39,569 more people without a job at the end of February, which is 1.6% more than in January.


During February, 150,924 contracts were signed in Catalonia; 8,858 less than in January, which means 5.54% less. The annual variation is also negative, as in February 2010, 700 more contracts were signed (0.47% more). Most of these contracts -131,195- are temporary. Only 19,729 of the contracts signed were permanent.

In the whole of Spain, 1.011 million contracts were signed, which represents a decrease of 104,601 in comparison to January figures (9.37% less). The year variation is 1.63% less, which equals to 16,084 less contracts signed than in February 2010. Only 9.32% of these new contracts are permanent. 920,000 are temporary. During the first 2 months of 2011, 2.12 million contracts were signed in Spain. The figure means 50,000 more contracts than during the same period of 2010. Another positive news is that permanent contracts increased by 1,290 more contracts compared to January and February 2010.


  • A busy office of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)

  • A busy office of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)