Jobless figures signals tourism sector caution

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THE number of jobless people in Malaga Province fell in May. Labour Ministry figures show that with 2,021 fewer people out of work – the second consecutive monthly decline – this leaves 203,848 on the dole.

However, the 1 per cent month-on-month decrease is almost a third less than the fall experienced in May last year suggesting hotels, bars and restaurants are being cautious, keeping staffing levels down.

May is a month when the services sector in the Costa deol Sol normally ‘staff-up’ in preparation for the summer peak season.

In the past 12 months 24,222 more people have become jobless on the coast. At the end of May 2011 unemployment figures in the province stood at 179,626.

This fall in Malaga Province was the largest number in Andalucia, a region which saw jobless numbers in all its provinces fall, except Almeria and Sevilla.

Nationally, the number of people out of work fell by 30,113 last month for the second month running. Unemployment declined in 15 autonomous regions, headed by the Balearics and Andalucia.

Spain now has 4,714,122 people without jobs, 524,463 more than this time last year.

May’s unemployment figures are proof that Spain’s economy is entering a double dip recession, admitted junior Employment minister, Engracia Hidalgo.

Although neither as brusque nor as intense as the previous dip, its effect on employment is “negative,” Hidalgo said.

Defending the government’s labour reforms introduced more than three months ago, she claimed that the measures are “laying foundations” to check falling employment.

Job losses affected men and women in practically equal measure, with 2,377,116 men unemployed and 2,377,006 women.

Last month 27,651 men found work, bringing a 1.1 per cent reduction in male unemployment.

The number of women out of a job fell by 0.1 per cent, with 2,462 more in jobs than during April. Sector by sector, the construction industry experienced the greatest reduction with a 1.5 per cent drop and 12,418 more people in jobs.

Unemployment amongst agricultural workers fell by 4.1 per cent with 6,903 more in work.

Service industries followed with 5,895 new jobs and a 0.2 per cent reduction in unemployment.

Industry provided 3,321 more jobs and a 0.6 per cent reduction.

The number of young people who have never worked and have yet to find jobs fell by 1.576, a reduction of 0.38 per cent.

By John Jackson

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