Unemployment breaks downward trend and increases again in July

Catalonia is the region with the highest increase in the number of unemployed

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Occupation and precariousness

BarcelonaUnemployment rose last month for the first time since February 2021 both in Catalonia and in Spain, according to registered unemployment data published on Monday by the Ministry of Labour. Catalonia was also the region where the number of unemployed people grew the most.

Thus, the month of July closed with over 341,000 Catalans out of work, about 3,300 more than in June, representing a monthly increase of 0.98%. However, compared to the same month last year, the number of unemployed fell by 67,000 people, a decrease of 16.39%.

In fact, this is the best July recorded in absolute figures in the last 25 years, according to the Ministry. In this regard, it should be noted that on a Spanish scale the increase in the number of unemployed was about 3,200, 0.11% more than in June, which leaves the total number of unemployed people in the State at about 2,889,000. Compared to a year ago, this figure represents a decrease of over 532,000 people, or 15.59%.

Despite the bad unemployment data, the number of contributors to the Social Security continued to increase in Catalonia: the total number of people registered last month grew by 0.37%, with 13,300 new contributors, according to the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security. In total there are currently 3,086,000 registered workers. In Spain as a whole, the number of contributors also grew by over 9,100 workers.

First increase in July in 14 years

This is the first time in fourteen years that there has been an increase in unemployment in July, a month in which jobs are usually created thanks to the tourist season. However, the situation seems to be the opposite, with an increase in unemployment centred mainly in the services sector, where the number of unemployed increased by over 3,000 people in Catalonia. The other sectors of the economy also suffered increases in unemployment, with 330 more unemployed in industry, 178 more in construction and 67 more unemployed in agriculture.

Faced with this data, economic vice-president of the Spanish government Nadia Calviño admitted that there has been "a slowdown in the labour market", especially during the second half of last month, a fact of which the government had already warned last week when data from the Labour Force Survey for the second quarter was published.

"It is clear that there is more uncertainty and less dynamism in the economic momentum," she added. Despite this, Calviño believes that attention must be paid to "the underlying trends" and, in this sense, she believes that the labour reform approved at the beginning of the year has changed the situation of the labour market.

In fact, since the reform came into effect, there has been an increase in the number of permanent contracts. In Catalonia, 125,000 permanent contracts and 157,000 temporary contracts were signed, following the trend in recent months, when the proportion of permanent contracts has increased to approximately 40%.