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Unemployment rises in first quarter of 2020 to 10.66%

Number of people without work up by 5,800 to a total of 411,600


28 April 2020 09:58 AM


ACN | Barcelona

The unemployment rate in Catalonia has risen to 10.66% at the end of the first quarter of 2020, up from 10.4% at the end of 2019. 

Overall, the number of people without work rises by 5,800 to 411,600, according to Spain's statistics institute's labor force survey.

The data shows the beginning of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the state of alarm decree, but do not count temporary layoffs, affecting over 694,000 people in over 94,500 companies by April 27.

Counting all of Spain, unemployment rose by 121,000 people, up to 3.3 million, with the rate standing at 14.41%.

The covid-19 crisis has also caused an unprecedented increase in inactive people in the country, counting all persons 16 years of age and over who are not classified as employed or unemployed. 

There are now already 2,455,300 inactive people in Catalonia, a growth of 1.2% compared to the previous quarter. This was a rise of 31,500 inactive people between January and March. 

Counting all of Spain, the public health emergency has seen an increase of 257,500 people in this category, bringing the total inactive population to 16,525,900.

"Absolute collapse" of unemployment services

More than half a million people affected by temporary layoffs "may not have been recognized” as unemployed due to the "absolute collapse" of the state public employment service, according to the secretary general of the department of labor, Josep Ginesta.

In total, there are already 694,000 Catalans included in ERTOs, the Spanish system of dealing with the temporary layoffs companies can present during the coronavirus crisis. 

Ginesta has called for changes to ensure that as many people as possible receive their benefits in May, and has defended government aid for the unemployed pending recovery in the face of criticism from prominent trade unions.

According to him, the "exceptional" scenario justifies a subsidy for the unemployed who do not receive the relevant benefits and who have "very severe material needs."



  • A group of people cue an employment office in Barcelona. (Photo: Lluis Sibils)

  • A group of people cue an employment office in Barcelona. (Photo: Lluis Sibils)