The unemployment rate in Catalonia reaches 20.5% at the end of 2011

At the end of last year there were 775,400 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia. The Catalan labour market lost 126,700 jobs over the year, which represents a 4% drop in the percentage of people in employment. In Spain as a whole, the unemployment rate reached 22.85%, with 5.273 million people unemployed.


January 27, 2012 05:22 PM

Madrid (ACN).- Catalonia ended 2011 with an unemployment rate of 20.5% and 775,400 people registered as unemployed, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) released on Friday by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). In the last quarter of 2011, unemployment increased in Catalonia by 33,400 people, jumping from 19.4% to 20.5%. When compared with 2010, there were 88,700 more people registered as unemployed in 2011, a 13% increase. In Spain, the number of unemployed people grew by 295,300, reaching the absolute record of 5.273 million jobseekers. Spain’s unemployment rate reached 22.85%. Lleida Province has Catalonia’s lowest unemployment rate, 17.10%.

126,700 jobs have been destroyed in Catalonia in 2011. Over the last quarter of the year, 69,800 jobs were lost. The total number of people with a job in Catalonia was 3.006 million, which represents a 4% decrease compared with one year ago, when the total number of employed was 3.1 million.

In Spain as a whole, the number of people with a job dropped to 17.8 million at the end of 2011, 348,700 fewer individuals than three months ago. More than 600,000 jobs were destroyed in 2011 in Spain, which represents a fall of 3.26%. Madrid and Catalonia concentrate 47% of all the jobs lost last year in Spain.

Not an historical record in Catalonia

Compared to the last quarter of 2007, just before the start of the economic crisis, the number of unemployed people in Catalonia has tripled, jumping from 251,000 to 775,400 registered on December 31st 2011. Unemployment has increased year after year over the last five years. The Catalan unemployment rate reached 20.5% in 2011, but it is still far from the historical record of 22.8% registered in 1985.

Industry and services are the hardest hit sectors

The industrial and services sectors registered the largest unemployment increases in Catalonia over the last quarter of 2011. There were 49,300 more jobseekers from the industrial sector at the end of 2011, 9,800 more than those registered at the end of the third term. This represents a 24.8% increase. The services sector added 10,400 more jobseekers to the dole queues in the last 3 months of 2011, reaching a total figure of 223,100 unemployed people, a 4.8% increase in the last quarter of the year.

Fewer jobseekers in the agricultural sector

Agriculture has been the only economic sector that has created jobs in Catalonia over the last quarter of 2011, creating 3,300 new jobs. Furthermore, the unemployment rate in the sector decreased by 22.7% in the last 3 months of 2011, with 1,800 fewer jobseekers. At the end of the year there were 6,100 people registered as unemployed in the agricultural sector. Construction also experienced an unemployment decrease in the last quarter of the year, with 8,600 fewer jobseekers (a 13.8% decrease). The total number of unemployed people within this sector reached 53,500 at the end of 2011.

Between October and December, 4,700 jobs were lost in the industrial sector, 2,700 in construction, and 65,600 in the services sector in Catalonia. This last sector is the main source of employment, with 2.1 million people in Catalonia classed as service sector workers.

Youth unemployment increases by 1,500 people

The number of young people, aged between 16 and 24, registered as unemployed increased by 1,500 in the final quarter of the year. This breaks a new record for youth unemployment in Catalonia, with 146,500 people. The previous record corresponded to 2011’s first quarter, with 146,300 unemployed people below the age of 25. However, in Spain, youth unemployment decreased during the last quarter of 2011 by 1.4%, 12,540 fewer people signed on the register. The total number of individuals below 25 registered as unemployed in Spain was 884,100 at the end of 2011, 187,100 more people than one year ago.

Less active population

The active population in Catalonia decreased by 36,400, totalling 3.782 million people. In Spain, the active population decreased by 53,400 people in the last quarter of the year. Spain’s total active population was set at 23.081 million people, 0.10% lass than one year ago (23,600 fewer people).

Lleida has Catalonia’s lowest unemployment rate

Among the four Catalan provinces, Lleida registered a 17.10% unemployment rate at the end of the year, with 37,800 registered as unemployed. Girona had the highest rate in Catalonia in 2011 with  23.39% registered out of work, with 89,400 unemployed people. Barcelona Province, which has two thirds of Catalonia’s population, accumulated 558,200 people registered as unemployed, representing an unemployment rate of 20.18%. Finally, in Tarragona (southern Catalonia) there were 90,000 people looking for a job, representing a 21.8% unemployment rate.