labour market reform

IMF recommends that Spain increase the fiscal capacity of regional governments

June 8, 2015 09:51 PM | ACN

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reviewed and improved its economic growth forecasts for Spain, going from a 2.5% growth rate for 2015 forecast in April to a 3.1% one foreseen this June, and from 2% to 2.5% for 2016. However, the IMF has also issued recommendations and warnings, emphasising that Spain will have to carry out "additional fiscal efforts" and "structural reforms" in order not to jeopardise the country’s economic recovery. The IMF recommends that Spain reduce the costs of public healthcare and education by making users pay for part of the services. According to the international organisation, Autonomous Community governments – such as Catalonia's – should have greater fiscal responsibilities in such systems since they exclusively manage them. In this vein, the IMF has praised the fiscal consolidation efforts undertaken over the past few years by regional governments and has asked for an increase in their funding and fiscal powers, as well as for the adapting of the deficit targets to their needs.

Catalonia accumulates 15 consecutive months of annual unemployment drops, despite September’s rise

October 2, 2014 09:46 PM | ACN

September’s registered unemployment figures have been positive for Catalonia, with all provinces registering overall annual figures showing jobs to be on the rise. For over a year, unemployment has been falling in the four Catalan Provinces, such as Girona for 14 months, Barcelona and Tarragona for 15 months, and for 16 in Lleida. Catalan figures registered an increase of 4,196 more people unemployed in September than in August, due to the termination of seasonal jobs. However, it represents the lowest rise in a September month since the crisis began. In annual terms, unemployment continues to decline, with 15 consecutive months of numbers falling, and 45,099 less unemployed this September than last year, representing a 7.26% drop. The number of contracts signed has risen by 15.6% in annual terms to reach a total of 224,717, of which there was an increase of 26.4% in permanent contracts.

There are 55,319 young Catalans living abroad, an increase of 55.62% in 5 years

August 7, 2014 09:02 PM | ACN

The number of Catalans between 15 and 34 who go abroad in search of a "decent" job has increased by 9.24% in the last year, meaning the number of young people living outside Catalonia has increased from 50,640 in 2013, to 55,319 this year, according to a study from the UGT trade union. Between 2009 and 2014, 19,772 youngsters have left Catalonia; a 55.62% increase in 5 years. These statistics were announced in a press conference on Thursday by Afra Blanco, the National Spokesperson for Avalot-Joves section of the UGT in Catalonia. According to Blanco, "the uncertainty, instability, part-time work, underemployment and destruction of jobs" are the factors that have driven young Catalan job-seekers to look for a "respectable life" abroad.

Registered unemployment in Catalonia falls by 1,983 people in July and equals rates from December 2010

August 4, 2014 09:21 PM | ACN

568,231 unemployed people were registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) this July, 1,983 less than in June, which represents a 0.35% reduction. This is 42,198 less unemployed people than in July 2013, or a 6.91% annual reduction. All of the Catalan provinces have seen a drop in unemployment over the past month. In addition, there has been an increase of Catalans registering with Social Security, a 12% rise in hiring rate and nearly all sectors in Catalonia are creating new jobs. In Spain as a whole the number of people looking for work stands at 4,419,860 people, 281,478 fewer than the previous year, which represents a 5.94% annual drop. 

Registered unemployment in Catalonia dropped by 7% in April compared to the previous year

May 6, 2014 02:03 PM | ACN

In April, 12,645 jobseekers left the Catalan Public Employment Service's lists, which is the sharpest unemployment reduction for an April month since 1998. At the end of April there were 611,822 people registered as unemployed in Catalonia, a 2% drop on March figures and a 6.88% reduction compared to April 2013. This 6.88% annual drop is also the sharpest since June 2000. Furthermore, in annual terms, registered unemployment has been decreasing in Catalonia for the last 10 consecutive months, although April is traditionally a good month for employment due to the new contracts linked to Easter holidays. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment decreased by 111,565, representing a 2.33% drop and leaving the total number of registered jobseekers at 4,684,301. In annual terms, it dropped by 6.11%, being the 7th consecutive month with annual reductions.


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

April 2, 2014 09:21 PM | 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. 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.

Unemployment falls by 4,300 people in Catalonia and by 2,000 in the whole of Spain

March 4, 2014 08:44 PM | ACN

In February, 629,586 people were enrolled on the unemployment lists in Catalonia, representing a decrease of 4,285 unemployed people on the same month last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Spanish Employment and Social Security Ministry. It is also the sharpest decline for a month of February since 2004, when 5,138 fewer jobseekers were registered. With this latest drop in the unemployment figures, Catalonia has achieved eight consecutive months of registered unemployment reduction in annual terms. In the whole of Spain, unemployment stood at 4,812,486 people, down by 1,949 people in February. It is the first decrease for the month of February since the beginning of the crisis in 2007.

Unemployment drops for the 7th consecutive month in annual terms but registers a monthly increase

February 4, 2014 08:06 PM | ACN

In annual terms, there were 27,946 less registered unemployed people in January 2014 than in January 2013, meaning a 4.22 % drop. Seven consecutive months of decreases in the registered unemployed figures had not been achieved since June 2007. Besides, in monthly terms, the latest figures also show a positive trend. Indeed, January is traditionally a month where unemployment increases, with the only drop recorded since 1997, the beginning of the series, dating back to January 1998. In January 2014, unemployment grew by 8,999 people compared to December 2013, the mildest increase registered in that month since 2007. Referring to these latest figures, the Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment stated that he was “moderately optimistic”.

Catalonia leads unemployment reduction with a 7.9% drop in 2013

January 23, 2014 07:52 PM | ACN

Catalonia ended 2013 with an unemployment rate of 22.26% and a total of 820,400 people unemployed, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA) for the fourth quarter. In late 2013 Catalonia registered 64,700 fewer unemployed people compared to the last quarter of 2012. At Spanish level, the unemployment rate was set at 26.03 %, with a total of 5,896,300 unemployed people. At the end of 2013, there were 69,100 fewer unemployed than in the last quarter of 2012. Furthermore, between September and December there were 8,400 fewer jobseekers in Spain. In the same 3-month period there were 20,100 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia. The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment stated that these figures were “the best since the start of the crisis” since “for the first time, the number of employed has increased and the number of unemployed has decreased”.

Spanish GDP to grow between 0.5% and 1% in 2014, says ESADE

January 14, 2014 07:45 PM | ACN

The “very moderate” growth expectations for 2014, between 0.5% and 1%, will make it “difficult” for the unemployment rates to fall below the current 27%. This was the conclusion of the 2014 Economic Report of Barcelona-based ESADE, one of the top business schools in the world. The main author of the report stressed that this “slow and costly” growth should contribute only in a “very reduced” way to creating new jobs in 2014. However, he also explained that the Labour Market Reform would have positive effects on employment levels in the medium and long term. The study indicates that consumption in 2014 will “remain restricted” due to the high unemployment rates and reduced wages.

Brussels suggests Spain follow Catalonia’s plan for youth employment

November 22, 2013 07:48 PM | ACN

Speaking to the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the European Commissioner for Employment, Lázló Andor, said that Spain should profit from its decentralised organisation to help fight youth unemployment. He suggested that the rest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities should follow the examples of Catalonia and Navarra to improve employment levels among youngsters. The European Commissioner said that Spanish authorities should take note of the plans launched by Catalonia and Navarra, where the youth unemployment situation “is better than the national average”. However, despite these levels being lower than in most of Spain, youth unemployment in Catalonia is worryingly high, at more than 53% in July.

Catalan unemployment increased by 12,921 people in October and represented the third consecutive month of growth

November 5, 2013 09:14 PM | ACN

However, in annual terms, Catalonia registered a fourth consecutive drop in unemployment figures with a 1.93 % decrease compared to October 2012 and 12,474 fewer jobseekers. By the end of October 2013, 633,832 people were registered as unemployed at the offices of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC), meaning a 2.08% increase since the month of September, with 12,921 extra people unemployed. These latest figures, which were released by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, also indicate a third consecutive month of growth in unemployment. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment also increased for the third consecutive month.

The Catalan Unemployment Rate decreases by 32,500 people to reach 22.84 %

October 24, 2013 06:36 PM | ACN

In Catalonia, the unemployment rate decreased by 32,500 people to reach 22.84%. The Spanish Labour Force Survey has recorded two consecutive semesters of decrease in the unemployment figures after new highs had been reached in early 2013. Catalonia is currently leading the country in terms of unemployment reduction: on the Spanish Scale, the latest figures indicate a drop in 72,800 people while the rate is set at 25.98%.