jobs

Registered unemployment in Catalonia falls by 21,075 in May; biggest decline in 19 years

June 2, 2015 06:31 PM | ACN

Last month Catalonia was where the most intense monthly and annual drops in unemployment were registered in Spain. At the end of May, 531,899 people were on the Catalan Public Employment Service's (SOC) lists. This means 21,075 fewer jobseekers than in April 2015 (-3.81%), representing the most significant monthly drop registered for the month of May for 19 years (when the historical record started). Catalonia also registered a 10.2% annual drop in unemployment in comparison to May 2014 - representing 60,405 fewer people unemployed - the biggest annual decline since May 2000. It is has now accumulated 23 consecutive months of annual decline. In Spain as a whole, at the end of May 2015, the number of people registered as unemployed stood at 4.21 million, with 117,985 less jobseekers than in April 2015. An encouraging sign given that in the last 7 years registered unemployment had been falling at an average of 58,000 people from April to May.

Municipal elections take place on Sunday in Catalonia in uncertain and agitated atmosphere

May 22, 2015 10:28 PM | ACN

Catalans are holding their municipal elections on Sunday, while the elections to the Catalan Parliament are to be held in September, as opposed to other parts of Spain, where they are voting for their regional parliaments on Sunday. These municipal elections come after 7 years of economic crisis and also with very uncertain political horizons. Two debates have dominated the campaign: Catalonia’s independence and the rise of new or secondary parties that promise to change the current model. For many people in Catalonia, Sunday’s elections will be a first stage of the ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence that is going to take place with the Catalan elections on 27 September. It is also the opportunity to support changing the current political, economic and social model, with the rise of alternative left coalitions. Furthermore, majorities and town halls go through significant changes, particularly in Barcelona and the cities of its Metropolitan Area, where there are no clear winners forecast and surprises are likely to happen.

Volkswagen to invest €4.2 billion in Catalonia and Navarra factories over next 4 years

May 8, 2015 10:03 PM | ACN

The German car manufacturer has announced massive investment in two of its factories in Spain: its plant located in Martorell (Greater Barcelona) and its factory in Navarra. In particular, Volkswagen expressed its intention to invest €4.2 billion between 2015 and 2019 in what many newspapers have called "the largest industrial investment ever made in Spain". According to estimates made by the Catalan Business and Employment Minister Felip Puig, it is likely that more than half of the total investment will be concentrated on the plant in Martorell, which builds Seat cars as well as models from other brands of the Volkswagen group such as Audi. In a meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Volkswagen Global Sales Vice President, Javier García Sanz, stated that the two plants that will receive the multibillion investment are among "the best factories of the Group".

Catalan registered unemployment drops by 3.27% in April; largest decline in Spain and for 19 years

May 5, 2015 09:41 PM | ACN

Official data released on Tuesday by the Spanish Employment Ministry show that both Catalonia and Spain as a whole registered the largest monthly decline in unemployment for a month of April since 1996. In particular, Catalonia closed last month with 552,974 people registered on the Catalan Public Employment Service's list, which means 18,681 fewer jobseekers in comparison with March 2015, a 3.27% drop. In annual terms, registered unemployment in Catalonia fell by 9.62% (58,848 fewer people), which is the highest percentage decline since May 2000. These figures mean that registered unemployment in Catalonia has fallen for 22 consecutive months. In Spain as a whole, at the end of April 2015 the number of people registered as unemployed stood at 4,333,016, which means 118,923 fewer jobseekers than in March, representing a 2.67%. In annual terms, registered unemployment in Spain dropped by 7.5%, as 351,285 fewer people were registered as looking for a job.

Slight unemployment increase in Catalonia, reaching 20.05% in last quarter

April 23, 2015 08:38 PM | ACN

The number of unemployed people in Catalonia has risen by 1,500 people during the first quarter of 2015. The percentage has increased for a second consecutive period although the figures are better than a year ago. According to figures from the Spanish Government's Labour Force Survey, released on Thursday, 758,000 people are out of work in Catalonia and the unemployment rate has risen in quarterly terms. However the first quarter of 2015 has 82,100 less unemployed people than those in the same period in 2014, when the rate was 22.1%. Throughout the whole of Spain, the unemployment rate also increased since the previous quarter, reaching 23.78%.

2015 Mobile World Congress sets new record with more than 93,000 visitors, 9% more than 2014

March 5, 2015 10:12 PM | ACN

The 2015 Mobile World Congress, which takes place each year in Barcelona, has shattered the records by hosting more than 93,000 visitors from 200 different countries, as reported by event organiser GSMA on Thursday, the last day of the trade fair. Thisyear’s attendance exceeded by 9% the figures recorded in 2014 and by 45% the number of people who visited the event during its first edition in 2006. The 2015 Mobile World Congress confirmed itself as the global platform for the cell-phone-related industries, where a large number of news and products were unveiled for the first time by world-class companies such as Samsung, HTC, Sony, Microsoft and Google. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sundar Pichai (Google) and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) were among this edition's main speakers.

Registered unemployment falls by 7.7% in February, highest drop in 17 years

March 3, 2015 08:53 PM | ACN

At the end of February 2015, there were 581,124 people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) as being unemployed, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. This represents 1,645 fewer jobseekers than were registered at the end of January (582,769), a 0.28% drop. In addition, at the end of February 2015 there were 48,462 fewer registered jobseekers than a year ago, which marks the largest annual decline for registered unemployment in the last 17 years for a February month. This represents a 7.7% fall in the last 12 months. The data released on Tuesday shows an encouraging trend for Spain as a whole as well, since registered unemployment fell by 13,538 people in monthly terms, a 0.3% drop. In annual terms, the Spanish labour market posted a 6.24% drop, with 300,333 fewer registered jobseekers.

Catalonia’s economy to grow 2.5% in 2015, according to Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce

February 25, 2015 09:49 PM | ACN

Catalan GDP grew by 1.3% in 2014 and will increase by 2.5% in 2015, claims Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce. “The Catalan economy had a very good performance in 2014, even better than that of Spain as whole, and this acceleration will continue during 2015”, stated the President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Valls, on Wednesday. The day before, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, announced a revised economic forecast for 2015 and stated that Spain’s economy would grow by 2.4% in 2015. Valls highlighted that all the macroeconomic indicators show positive figures for the first time in the last 7 years, which makes him think that Catalonia’s “recovery from the crisis is a fact”. The industrial sector, exports, construction and job creation are the main reasons behind those predictions, which also benefit from external factors such as the fall in oil prices.

An independent Catalonia would be the world’s 38th most competitive country

February 24, 2015 05:42 PM | ACN / Harneet Bahal

According to a recent study published by the Swiss research centre, IMD World Competitiveness Centre, Catalonia would be the 38th most competitive state in the world if it were independent. The list, headed by the United States, shows that an independent Catalonia would be 2 places above Spain, which currently occupies 40th position (including Catalonia). The report highlights the strengths of Catalonia such as business efficiency, as well as the weaknesses, which stem from certain inefficiencies of the public sector. Apart from focusing on quantitative indicators, the study also has a section that is based on qualitative surveys of a country’s companies. Catalan executives consider Singapore, Germany, Ireland and the UAE to be the most lucrative for business development and ranked Catalonia 24th on the list, which is 21 places above Spain.

Left-wing independence party ERC asks to sit in Catalan Government to further develop state structures

February 18, 2015 10:26 PM | ACN

A day after the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Artur Mas, announced his plan to further develop the so-called state structures before the 27 September elections, the leader of the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, Oriol Junqueras, has once again requested to be part of the Executive and sit in Cabinet. Junqueras justified his request in order “to guarantee the indispensable state structures”, such as Catalonia’s own tax administration and Social Security system. The embryonic frame of such structures should be created before the next Catalan elections, which will be called early and will be transformed into a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence from Spain. On Tuesday, Mas had already ruled out the possibility of the ERC sitting in Government and, on Wednesday, the Catalan President stressed that the current Cabinet will only be in office for the next 6 months.

Unemployment in Catalonia ends 2014 with a 19.88% rate and 83,000 less jobseekers than in 2013

January 22, 2015 08:59 PM | ACN

Catalonia posted a 19.88% unemployment rate at the end of 2014, almost 4 percentage points lower than the rate for the whole of Spain, which was 23.70%. On 31 December 2014, there were 756,500 unemployed people in Catalonia, which represents 83,000 less jobseekers than a year ago, according to the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE). Despite the positive annual results, unemployment increased by 30,500 people in quarterly terms, compared to figures from the end of September 2014. Back then, Catalonia's unemployment rate was 19.10%. In terms of jobs, the Catalan economy ended 2014 with 49,300 more people in employment than at the end of 2013, reaching 3,048,100 workers. The Catalan Government is said to be "moderately optimistic" with the figures and highlighted that both 2014 and 2013 ended with less unemployed in annual terms, accumulating two consecutive years of decreased numbers.

Catalan President: the self-determination process has “to continue and end well”

January 13, 2015 05:46 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, assessed on Tuesday the Executive’s work during 2014, which he found to be “positive” overall, although he admitted there are still many people in great need and many social and economic challenges ahead. Referring to the current debate on whether to call early elections transformed into a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence from Spain, Mas promised immediate decisions to be announced on Thursday. Before taking the definitive decision and after weeks of admitted “confusion”, the Catalan President wants to hold a last round of talks with the main civil society organisations supporting independence and the left-wing pro-independence party ERC – with whom the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU has shared a parliamentary stability agreement for the last 2 years. “I will not slack” in the self-determination process, Mas stated.

Registered unemployment drops by 8% in Catalonia during 2014

January 7, 2015 09:12 PM | ACN

At the end of 2014, there were 575,948 people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) as being unemployed, according to figures released this week by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. This represents 48,924 fewer jobseekers than were on the register at the end of 2013; a 7.83% drop achieved during the last 12 months. During 2014, registered unemployment dropped by 5.39% in the whole of Spain. There were 4,447,711 people registered as unemployed throughout the country, which represents 253,627 fewer jobseekers than a year ago, the largest reduction in unemployment since 1998. 

Catalan President calls for pro-independence supporters to pull together

December 30, 2014 10:59 PM | ACN

“Unity gives us strength as a country”, stated Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, in the New Year’s official speech, which is broadcast annually on 30 December. Mas emphasised that “the [Spanish] State wants us to be divided”, because this way “we are weaker and more vulnerable”. The Catalan President makes this statement in the middle of the talks he is carrying out with the opposition left-wing independence party ERC in order to decide whether to run together in early elections that should be transformed into a ‘de facto’ independence referendum. However, the left-wing ERC is reluctant to run with Mas and members of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which he leads. In his address, Mas also spoke in praise of the symbolic independence vote held on 9 November, which was “an exercise of democracy”, which “should call for dialogue and negotiation, instead of criminal prosecutions”.

Catalonia posted a 1.5% annual GDP growth rate in September

December 19, 2014 08:52 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 1.5% at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2014 in annual terms, while at the end of June it was growing at a rate of 1.3%. Catalonia has therefore accumulated 4 consecutive quarters with positive annual economic growth. However, although the economic recovery has slowed somewhat, growth remains positive, as other figures show. In quarterly terms, Catalonia’s GDP increased by 0.3% between July and September, which represents a drop from the 0.5% growth registered for April – June and also for January – March. Meanwhile, in Spain as a whole, the economy grew by 1.6% in annual terms at the end of September and by 0.5% in quarterly terms. The European Union is posting the same growth rates as Catalonia: 1.5% in annual terms and 0.3% in quarterly figures.