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Catalonia's registered unemployment dropped by 6% in March, the sharpest annual drop since 2000

At the end of March 2014 there were 39,583 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia than twelve month earlier, which represents a 5.96% drop. It is the sharpest drop since June 2000. In addition, registered unemployment in Catalonia has been decreasing in annual terms for the last 9 consecutive months. On top of this, it is the third consecutive unemployment decline registered in a month of March. After this drop, the total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) was 624,467 people. In monthly terms, there were 5,119 fewer jobseekers at the end of March than in February. The fall in monthly terms is the sharpest registered in this month of the year since March 2005, before the economic crisis.

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02 April 2014 09:21 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN). - At the end of March 2014 there were 39,583 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia than twelve month earlier, which represents a 5.96% drop, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Spanish Employment Ministry. It is the sharpest drop since June 2000. In addition, registered unemployment in Catalonia has been decreasing in annual terms for the last 9 consecutive months. In July 2013, Catalonia started to register annual unemployment drops for the first time since July 2007. On top of this, it is the third consecutive unemployment decline registered in a month of March. After this drop, the total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) was 624,467 people. In monthly terms, there were 5,119 fewer jobseekers at the end of March than in February. The fall in monthly terms is the sharpest registered in this month of the year since March 2005, before the economic crisis. The Catalan Government welcomed the figures, saying that they show the strength of "the economic recovery" and "the change of trend". However, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Joan Aregio, also wanted to send a message of caution, insisting that the fight against unemployment "has to continue" and is "far from ending".


In the whole of Spain registered unemployment decreased by 16,620 people in March compared to February figures. It is the 6th consecutive monthly drop in Spain and it is also the sharpest reduction that has been recorded since 2006. The number of unemployed in Spain was 4,795,866 people. In the past five years, registered unemployment in March had grown at Spanish level.

Barcelona

SOC lists were reduced in all the Catalan provinces, but particularly in Barcelona where unemployment dropped by 2,749 people compared to February, a 0.59 % drop. In annual terms, unemployment dropped by 32,605 people compared to March 2013, a 6.60% reduction. In the same way, the number of registered unemployed in Barcelona Province – where more than 70% of the Catalan population lives – has come down to 461,565 people. Like the whole of Catalonia, Barcelona counties accumulate 9 consecutive months of yearly falls.

Girona

In the Province of Girona – north-eastern Catalonia −, the number of unemployed people at the end of March was 57,883 individuals, 1,381 fewer than in February, which represents a 2.33 % drop. Furthermore, there were 2,754 fewer unemployed than in March 2013 registered at Girona's SOC lists, a 4.54 % reduction. It is the sharpest drop in annual terms since March 2007, when the drop was 7.70%. Girona Province has now accumulated eight consecutive months of annual declines in the unemployment lists.

Lleida

The number of unemployed people in the Province of Lleida – western Catalonia – was 31,097 in March, representing a reduction of 98 people compared to February, which means a 0.31% drop. In annual terms, the decrease reached 2,063 unemployed, a fall of 6.22 %, the largest in annual terms since March 2007 when it fell 10.18 %. Lleida Province has been registering reduced unemployment in annual terms for the last 10 consecutive months.

Tarragona

Finally, in Tarragona Province – southern Catalonia – SOC offices ended March with 73,922 people registered as unemployed, 891 fewer than in February, representing a 1.19 % drop. In annual terms, there were 2,161 fewer than in March 2013, a 2.84% reduction. The Province of Tarragona has accumulated nine months of unemployment declines in annual terms.

The precariousness of employment remains

The precariousness of employment, measured by the proportion of permanent contracts in all contracts, remained at similar levels this March compared with March last year, despite having completed two years of the Spanish Government's Labour Market Reform, which had the aim of ending the dual job market.

The number of contracts made in Catalonia in March totalled 175,114, representing a 14.32 % increase over March 2013. Of this number, only 23,434 were for permanent positions, 13.38% of the total; a percentage very similar to, and even just below the 13.48 % that was registered in March last year. The rest were short-term contracts.

1 in 3 unemployed without benefits and grants

Of the 629,586 who were unemployed in February in Catalonia this year (this data is provided by the Spanish Ministry of Employment with a month of delay) only 399,910 people received any public money, either unemployment benefits or social grants. This represents a 63.52 % coverage, which means that one in three unemployed people did not receive any kind of financial assistance from the Spanish or Catalan Governments. In the whole of Spain the coverage of people receiving unemployment benefits and grants in February2014 reached 60.33 %, while in February 2013, the index was 63.25 %, representing a three-point decrease.

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

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