Unemployment drops by 24,878 people in Catalonia, registering the largest drop in June since 1996
Registered unemployment in Catalonia decreased by 3.87% in June compared to the previous month’s figures. June is a month when unemployment tends to be reduced due to summer jobs, but last month registered the highest drop since 1996. The total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) by the end of June reached 617,288 individuals. However, compared to a year ago, registered unemployment increased by 1,712 people, 0.28% more than in June 2012. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment also increased in annual terms (+3.2%) and decreased compared to a month ago (-2.6%). Catalonia is the Autonomous Community where unemployment decreased the most in monthly terms. Furthermore, in the Lleida Province (Western Catalonia), unemployment also decreased in annual terms.
Madrid (ACN).- Registered unemployment in Catalonia decreased by 3.87% in June compared to the previous month\u2019s figures, according to data released on Tuesday by the Spanish Employment Ministry. Even though June is a month when unemployment tends to be reduced due to summer jobs, last month registered the highest drop since 1996, at Catalan and Spanish level. The total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) by the end of June reached 617,288 individuals, 24,878 less individuals than in May. However, compared to a year ago, registered unemployment increased by 1,712 people, which represents an annual increase of 0.28%. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment also grew in annual terms, but at a higher pace, increasing by 3.2%. By the end of June there were 4,763,680 registered unemployed people in Spain, a 2.6% drop compared to data from May. Catalonia is the Autonomous Community where unemployment decreased the most in monthly terms (-24,878 individuals), followed by Andalusia (-16,442 people) and Madrid (-14,716 individuals). Furthermore, in the Lleida Province in Western Catalonia unemployment also decreased in annual terms (-1.4%). In Barcelona Province annual unemployment only increased by 0.03%. Registered unemployment among foreigners in Catalonia reached the same levels as in August 2010, with 123,952 individuals by the end of June. This represents an annual decrease of 6.78%. However, there are also negative data: the number of signed contracts in June decreased by 9.7% compared to last year\u2019s figures. Furthermore, 90.5% of the contracts signed during last month were temporary, a higher share than in previous years. Besides, 36.6% of the people registered as unemployed did not receive any pension, grant or public help. Employment authorities have all been cautious with the June data, although they all qualified them as \u201Cpositive\u201D and hoped the overall reduction of unemployment will start soon. However, the opposition emphasised that a large part of the reduction of registered unemployment is due to the decrease of the active population.
June is a month which is traditionally positive for employment figures, since many summer jobs start at this time. However, this June has been particularly positive, according to the registered unemployment figures. Unemployment continues to be extremely high, at Catalan and Spanish level, but the reductions experienced in June are particularly important. In June, there were 24,878 fewer people registered at the SOC than by the end of May, a 3.87% drop. In the last five years, June has registered drops in unemployment in Catalonia, but not such a large one since 1996, 17 years ago. In fact, in 2007 and 2008, at the beginning of the current economic crisis, unemployment increased in June in Catalonia by 677 people (+0.28%) and 6,175 individuals (+2.02%) respectively. The best June of the last few years had been that of 2010, coinciding with Prime Minister José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero\u2019s plans to launch a series of small public works throughout Spain to buffer the destruction of construction jobs.
Unemployment has been decreasing in Catalonia over the last 4 months, in monthly terms. However, the statistical behaviour of registering four consecutive months with monthly unemployment drops has already happened several times during the current economic crisis. For instance, in 2012, unemployment decreased between March and July, accumulating five consecutive months. In 2011, there were four consecutive months of unemployment reductions between April and July, the exact same months as in 2010. However, in 2009, in the middle of the economic recession there were only 2 consecutive months with drops in unemployment: May and June. However, the trend of June 2013 seems to show particularly positive data.
Unemployment decreased within the first six months of the year
The number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service by the end of December 2012 was higher than the number of those registered by the end of June 2013. In the last 6 months, unemployment decreased in Catalonia by 29,668 people. Such a significant reduction in unemployment within the first 6 months of the year has not been experienced since 1999, when unemployment decreased by 33,400 people in the first half of the year. In the whole of Spain, unemployment also decreased during the first 6 months of the year. Unemployment dropped by 85,043 people in Spain during this period, the largest drop since 2006.
In the Lleida Province unemployment decreased in annual terms
Unemployment decreased throughout Catalonia in monthly terms. However, in the Province of Lleida, in Western Catalonia, unemployment also decreased in annual terms. In fact Lleida is the Catalan province with the lowest unemployment rate, although it is also the least populated one. The previous annual unemployment reduction in Lleida was registered in June 2007. In June, unemployment dropped by 6.2% compared with the figures from May, with 1,936 fewer people registered as unemployed at the SOC in Lleida. This large monthly drop also meant that, compared to data from June 2012, unemployment has decreased in Lleida by 1.40% in annual terms, with 416 fewer people registered at the Catalan Public Employment Service than a year ago. By the end of June 2013 there were 29,299 unemployed people.
Unemployment decreases in Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona
In the rest of Catalonia, unemployment decreased in monthly terms but increased compared to a year ago. The Province of Girona, in the north-eastern Catalonia where the Costa Brava is located, had the highest unemployment drop after that of Lleida. By the end of June there were 3,271 fewer unemployed people in Girona than the previous month, which represents a 5.75% drop. However, in annual terms, there were 303 more people registered as unemployed, a 0.57% growth. The total number of jobseekers in Girona reached 53,627 individuals.
Registered unemployment dropped by 5.25% in the Province of Tarragona, in Southern Catalonia where the Costa Daurada is located, compared to the figures from May. By the end of June there were 68,552 people on the SOC lists in Tarragona, 3,802 fewer individuals than in May. However, there were 1,706 more unemployed people than in June 2012, which represents a 2.55% annual increase.
In Barcelona Province annual unemployment only increased by 0.03%
In the Province of Barcelona, in which two thirds of Catalonia\u2019s population are concentrated, unemployment dropped by 3.29%, with 15,869 fewer individuals on the SOC lists. In annual terms, the Province of Barcelona was very close to registering an unemployment drop, since the number of jobseekers only increased by 0.03%, with 119 more people on the SOC lists. The total number of people registered as unemployed in Barcelona reached 465,810 individuals.
Unemployment among foreigners decreased by 6.78% in annual terms
Registered unemployment among foreign nationals (both EU and non-EU) reached 123,952 individuals in Catalonia by the end of June. This figure represents a 4.2% decrease compared to the figures from May, with 5,433 more jobseekers. However, the most shocking figure is that it also represents a 6.78% drop in annual terms, since in June 2012 there were 9,011 more foreign nationals registered as unemployed in Catalonia. The highest number of foreign jobseekers registered in Catalonia was reached in February 2012, with 144,804. June\u2019s figure represents the minimum record for 2013, 2012 and 2011. Only in August 2010 there were fewer foreign nationals registered as unemployed in Catalonia, with 120,266 individuals. Out of the June 2013 figures, 17.52% of the unemployed foreign nationals were from a European Union Member State (21,716 individuals), the remaining 82.48% were from a non-EU state (102,236 people).
The number of signed contracts drops almost by 10%
Despite the overall positive data, if one looks at specific figures, the results are far from positive. The number of contracts signed in June in Catalonia reached 195,283 documents, which represents a 9.68% drop compared to June 2012, with 20,920 fewer contracts. However, looking at the monthly figures, 8,687 more contracts were signed in June 2013 than in May, a 4.66% monthly increase.
An increase of temporary contracts
The share of temporary contracts versus permanent contracts increased, going against the objective of the Spanish Labour Market Reform approved in February 2012 by the Spanish Government. Out of the 195,283 new contracts signed in June, 18,554 were permanent (9.5% of the total), while the rest were temporary. This means that 176,729 contracts, representing 90.5% of the total, were for a fixed-term. In June 2012, 89.84% of the contracts were temporary while 10.16% were permanent.
36.6% of the people registered as unemployed do not receive any public money
As has been noticed in the last few months, the number of people who are unemployed but who are not entitled to any benefit, pension, grant or public financial help is growing. Out of the 642,166 registered unemployed in Catalonia, 407,159 individuals receive some sort of public money. They represent 63.4% of the total. The remaining 36.6% do not receive any public money, which means they do not have any legal income. This represents 235,007 individuals who are out of the public social protection systems. In addition, the number of jobseekers who receive the unemployment benefit (contributory benefit) only represents 32.9% of the total people registered at the SOC.
The Catalan Government states that the economy is \u201Cabout to reach\u201D recovery
The Catalan Business and Employment Minister, Felip Puig, emphasised that the current trend gives \u201Ca certain hope\u201D, although he called for a \u201Csensible caution\u201D, since it is still too early to draw a definitive conclusion and we are far from \u201Cthe definitive solution to the economic crisis\u201D. However, Puig added that if the current trend is confirmed in the following months, it could be affirmed that \u201Cwe are about to touch the bottom\u201D of the crisis and starting bouncing back. The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment, Ramon Bonastre, stated that Catalonia is \u201Cabout to reach the net creation of employment\u201D. Bonastre explained that the 0.3% annual increase \u201Cis still a negative balance, but it shows that the end of the heavy destruction of jobs situation is approaching\u201D.
The Spanish Government will continue to implement \u201Creforms\u201D affecting the labour market
The Spanish Government stated that the figures are \u201Cpositive\u201D and \u201Cbring hope\u201D. The Spanish Employment Minister, Fátima Báñez, said that \u201Csomething is improving in the labour market, but the [Spanish] Government has to continue working on it because there are still many Spaniards without opportunities\u201D. She also added that the Spanish Government will continue to implement \u201Creforms\u201D affecting the labour market.