Spain's unemployment rate at the end of the third quarter stands at 23.67%, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). The unemployment rate for Catalonia has fallen below 20% for the first time in the last 3 years and is set at 19.10%. The number of unemployed people in Catalonia has dropped by 44,400 in the third quarter of 2014, a decrease of 5.76% compared to the previous quarter. This is the biggest reduction since at least 2002, when the Spain's Statistical Institute began the series. Thanks to the creation of 69,100 new jobs in Catalonia over the last 12 months, there are now 34,800 more people employed in the third quarter. This makes Catalonia have the second highest unemployment drop in Spain, second only to Madrid Region (-48,200 people). The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, has called the figures are "encouraging" and "hopeful", although a 19.1% rate is still "very high".