Catalonia’s unemployment reaches historical record

Unemployment in Catalonia reached a new record in October, with 646,306 people on the SOC lists. Until Monday, the record was set last February, with 641,948 unemployed people.

In fact, between March and July, unemployment levels decreased for five consecutive months. However, in August the positive trend was broken and unemployment rose again. By the end of last July, there were 27,156 less people unemployed than by the end of February. The unemployment increase that took place between August and October totally neutralised the positive results from the previous five month period, reported the Catalan News Agency.

Furthermore, over the last 12 months, the Catalan labour market lost 30,748 jobs, which represents a 5% unemployment increase. For the whole of Spain, 472,595 jobs have been destroyed over the last year.

However, despite the negative figures, unemployment increased in October at a slower pace than a year ago. Over the month of October, unemployment in Catalonia increased by 2.19%, while in October 2011 it increased by 2.43%.

For the whole of Spain, there is the same trend. Unemployment in Spain increased by 2.73% in October but it grew by 3.17% over October 2011.

In October, 209,010 new contracts were signed in Catalonia. This means that it was the October with the highest number of new contracts since 2008, a month after the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy. In October 2008, 231,313 new contracts were signed.

A year previous to that, in October 2007, when very few people were forecasting the economic meltdown that came, 306,039 new contracts were signed in Catalonia.

All the Catalan economic sectors lost jobs in October, except for the construction industry, in which there were 722 fewer unemployed people. The rest of the sectors have experienced an increase in the number of people registered on the SOC lists.

There have never been so many unemployed people in the Catalan agricultural and services sectors. By the end of October there were 406,475 unemployed people within the services sector, 11,940 jobs having been lost over the previous month. The agriculture sector lost 1,929 jobs in October and reached a total of 13,268 jobseekers.

In addition, the Catalan industrial sector has lost 895 jobs over the last month, with a total of 96,501 jobseekers, which is a similar figure to the 96,622 jobseekers registered in this sector by the end of January this year.

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