Andalucia – the Spanish region with the highest unemployment

Andalucia is an agricultural area, but the services sector now predominates, particularly tourism, retail and transport. The construction sector, once a keystone of the region’s productive fabric, deteriorated considerably during the past year. The industrial sector is less developed than in other regions. In the last months of 2008, the Spanish economy went into recession, therefore the sluggish economic situation is likely to cause all productive activities in Andalusia to decline, except for services, with the downturn particularly affecting construction and industry. The last few years have seen the arrival of a great many foreign workers onto the regional labour market, particularly from Morocco, Romania, Ecuador, Poland and Colombia. During the last year, 11.98% of all contracts were awarded to foreigners and were mostly to cover the agricultural and services sectors.

Nowadays, Andalucia suffers by the worst unemployment rate among the Spanish regions.  Unemployment figures in Spain have become a nightmare not just for the government which is on the brink of economic disaster, but also for the workers which are seeing record numbers out of a job. In the province of Malaga over 233,000 are out of a job, pushing the jobless rate to over 30 per cent – the second highest in Spain. On top of the list is Cadiz with an unemployment rate of 31.87 percent according to the latest statistics released by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) 31st April. In the other provinces, the unemployment rate rose to 27.79 Almería percent, Granada (26, 89 percent), Huelva (26.75 percent), Sevilla (25.81 percent), Córdoba (23.5 percent) and Jaén, with a rate of 19.96 percent.

Various reasons are offered for the region’s poor showing in the employment figures.  The collapse of the construction industry since the onset of recession is a major factor, together with the high percentage of andaluces who work in tourism, which is highly seasonal and traditionally lays people off during the winter months.


3 thoughts on “Andalucia – the Spanish region with the highest unemployment

  1. The figures is surprisingly high and it is even more higher if we think about the number of people who are without job in Europe perspective, as Spain has one of the largest labour market in Europe.
    However, as economic is starting to recover and also summer season almost is started, this number has to decrease. Due to the fact that Andalucia is one of the touristic region in Spain, therefore meaning more and more people will be employed in this sector and unemployed rate has to decrease.

  2. My first concern is: Are these figures seasonally adjusted ? As said, Andalusia depends on tourism – which depends on seasons – and agriculture – which also depends on seasons. The figures may seem high, but aren’t they normally high considering the season ?

    Besides, we also should consider the underground economy, which is very important in southern Spain, more than in any other Communidad Autonoma. Underground economy in Andalusia is nearly similar to southern Italy. It is commonly admitted that Andalusia, and especially Huelva, is the main gate for drug entry from northern Africa. Such “business” moves a lot of money, and therefore “employ” a lot of people, despite the fact these “employees” also registered to unemployment agencies and thus are considered in official figures even if they have a job – or at least a revenue – even if illegal.

  3. Like garciaaa I wanted to know if all figures were updated ?

    The thing is that I can’t imagine such high figures regarding unemployment in Andalusia.
    However, I agree with the fact that this region of Spain is more dedicated to Agricultural jobs which is completely the opposite of other European countries such as France, United Kingdom …

    The primary sector was working in the past but now it’s not anymore. I think this region should take advantage of the service sector because the climate is increasing Tourism. Maybe all town councils should think about projects in order to bring more innovation, research and development in Andalousia.

    I noticed that Spain regions weren’t growing at the same path. Indeed, there are a lot of inequalities between these autonomous communities. Some of them benefited from up to date public transport , high concentration of industries, buildings, renovation …

    For the moment the best solution is to hire immigrants even if they apply for seasonal jobs. The point is that only immigrants people are willing to take those jobs while there is still a high unemployment rate in Spain … At least, it helps the Spanish Economy in a certain way.


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