Unemployment rate in Catalonia falls from 22.1% to 20.22% in the second quarter as 79,300 jobs are created

The number of unemployed people in Catalonia has decreased by 69,800 in the second quarter of this year; the largest drop in unemployment rates in the whole of Spain and the biggest decline in the jobless population in the last 12 years. Catalonia also created 79,300 new jobs in the second quarter of this year, a rise of 2.68% in comparison to the first quarter. This means that the total unemployment rate in Catalonia has dropped by nearly 2 percentage points since March 2014, falling from 22.1% to 20.22%. Spain as a whole has also registered a drop in unemployment of 310,400 people, meaning the number of jobless citizens is down to 24.47% of the total active population.

A bar in Girona (by ACN)
A bar in Girona (by ACN) / ACN


July 24, 2014 09:37 PM

Madrid (ACN).- The number of unemployed people in Catalonia has decreased by 69,800 in the second quarter of this year in comparison to the previous quarter, and represents the largest decline in unemployment figures in the last 12 years, according to figures released on Thursday by Spain´s Statistical Institute (INE). In relation to last year, the number of jobless people in Catalonia has fallen by 138,600; the largest annual drop since 2002, when this statistical series started to be registered in comparable figures. At the end of the second quarter of 2014 the number of unemployed people stood at 770,400, the same as the third quarter of 2011. This means that Catalonia's unemployment rate dropped by nearly 2 percentage points, falling from 22.1% registered in March to 20.22% registered in June. Spain as a whole has also registered a drop in unemployment to 310,400 people, meaning the number of jobless citizens is down to 24.47% of the active population, the most significant decline in unemployment since 2006. Catalonia also broke records in job creation, as 79,300 new jobs were established in the second quarter of this year, 2.68% more than in the previous quarter.

In total, 99,400 jobs have been created in Catalonia in the last 12 months, of which around 80% were created between April and June 2014. This is partly due to the acceleration of the economic recovery in the Autonomous Community in the past few months, as well as the seasonal hiring of staff for the summer. The 99,400 new jobs is the highest figure that has been recorded since the fourth quarter of 2007, when, in one year, 105,400 jobs were created in Catalonia, according to Spain´s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Catalonia has created the second largest number of jobs of any other Autonomous Community in Spain, after the Balearic Islands. In the islands the number of jobs created in the second quarter, compared with the first, was 83,300, almost 20% more than the employment figures registered in March. In contrast, Catalonia created 79,300 new jobs this quarter, a 2.68% increase from three months earlier. However, the Baelearic Islands have an economy very much focused on the seasonal tourism industry. 

Although the Balearic Islands have led job creation in Spain in quarterly terms, the Active Population Survey (EPA) has put Catalonia in the top position on an annual level as it has created nearly 100,000 jobs in the last year.

Catalonia leads the way in falling unemployment rates

The fall in the number of unemployed people in Catalonia, a drop of 69,800 people, is the largest drop out of all the Autonomous Communities in Spain. This includes Madrid, where number of unemployed people fell by 45,200 in the last quarter, and Valencia, where the drop amounted to 42,300 people.

In the past year, the number of people who have left unemployment lists has reached 138,600 in Catalonia, a decline of 15.25%. This means that in both annual and quarterly terms Catalonia has the largest the decrease in unemployment in the whole of Spain.

The number of jobless citizens in Catalonia is currently 20.22% of the population, nearly 2 percentage points less than unemployment rates from the first quarter. This is the lowest unemployment rate in the Autonomous Community for almost three years, since the 19.38% rate that was recorded at the end of the third quarter of 2011.  

Rates differ between sectors

In this second quarter, when most companies in the tourist industry take on temporary contracts to cover the summer season, the services sector has been the most active in creating jobs, generating 43,000 work positions in total in Catalonia.

However, despite the significant influence of this sector, industry has not lagged behind and, during the second quarter, it hired 35,700 new employees. The construction sector has also been creating jobs, 700 in total, while within the primary sector 200 jobs have been lost. 

Variation between the four Catalan Provinces

In the last quarter the unemployment rate has declined in all four Provinces in Catalonia, compared the previous quarter. This is most marked in Girona, in the north-east of the Autonomous Community, where the unemployment rate dropped 2.49 percentage points followed by Tarragona in the south, where the decline was registered at 2.37 percentage points. Barcelona is next in its drop in unemployment figures, recording a downturn of 1.85 percentage points, with Lleida, in the west of Catalonia, registering the smallest decline of 0.58 percentage points. As well as boasting falling unemployment rates, all four Provinces have also recorded a creation of jobs in the past quarter.