Unemployment rate in Catalonia increases from 21.9% to 22.1% in the first quarter of 2014
Barcelona (ACN).- At the end of March there were 840,200 unemployed people in Catalonia, 600 more than in December, according to the Survey on Active Population (EPA), released on Tuesday by the Spanish Statics Institute (INE). This quarterly increase breaks the trend of 3 consecutive quarters with unemployment drops in Catalonia and puts the unemployment rate at 22.10%, while in the previous quarter it was 21.87%. However, in annual terms, Catalan unemployment was reduced by 108,800 on March 2013 figures, when the rate reached 24.45%. Unemployment has not decreased in annual terms in the first quarter of the year since 2007. The most negative news is the number of jobs lost between January and March 2014. In the first quarter of the year, 38,100 jobs were lost in Catalonia, 10,000 more than in the same period of 2013. On top of this, the size of the population working or actively seeking work in Catalonia was reduced by 37,400 in quarterly terms and by 81,300 in annual figures, making a total of 3.801 million people with a job or looking for one in a population of some 7.5 million. In the whole of Spain, 184,600 jobs were lost between January and March 2014 and the unemployment rate reached 25.93%.
The Catalan Government highlights job creation in annual terms
The Catalan Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Joan Aregio, emphasised that there is "a positive net balance of job creation", regarding the annual figures. He then added that the economic recovery "is slower than we would like, but faster and stronger than we had probably thought a year ago in this very same place". For this reason he was confident that in global terms, the Catalan economy is "facing a change of trend" compared to the years of the economic crisis, and he "considered this change to be solid" despite the quarterly figures.
Job loss and job creation by sector
38,100 jobs were lost in Catalonia in the first quarter of 2014. The industrial sector has been one of the most affected, losing 10,600 jobs. At the end of March there were 525,800 working in the Catalan manufacturing sector, 27,700 less than a year previously. Construction is another damaged sector, with 10,100 jobs lost between January and March and 5,900 in annual terms. By the end of March there were 176,700 Catalans working in the construction sector. Agriculture, livestock breeding and the fishing industry, which employ a reduced amount of people but are particularly important in rural areas, were employing 45,400 people at the end of March, 1,500 less than in December and 8,300 less than 12 months ago.
The service sector is the only one that has not lost jobs in annual terms in Catalonia. By the end of March there were 2,212,900 individuals working in this sector, 15,800 less than in December but 69,500 more than a year ago.
Active population is decreasing
The size of the active population in Catalonia decreased by 37,400 people between January and March and by 81,300 in annual figures. By the end of the first quarter there were a total of 3.801 million people with a job or looking for one in a population of some 7.5 million. The reduction of active population shows that fewer people are looking for a job, either because they have left the country, they have decided to study or they have decided not to look for one any more. If active population continues to decrease in future quarters, the unemployment rate could decrease in a scenario where the number of jobs remained the same due to the statistical effect.
In the whole of Spain there were 5,993,300 unemployed people at the end of March, in a population of some 46 million. In quarterly terms, unemployment was reduced by 2,300 and in annual terms it decreased by 344,900, which is the most intense unemployment drop registered in the country since 2005. The unemployment rate posted at the end of the first quarter of 2014 increased and reached 25.93%.
Furthermore, in the whole of Spain there were 1,978,900 homes which have no members with a job, which means 53,100 more households than in December 2013. However, in annual terms, the number was reduced by 33,900 households, a 1.69% drop.