By Eleanor Hawkins
THE latest unemployment figures bring hope that the worst of the recession may be over.
For the first time in eight years, February unemployment figures fell in Malaga Province, a statistic reflected nationally.
Although the total number of jobless people fell by just 456 over the month, leaving a total of 196,660, when compared to figures for the end of February 2014, a positive trend is apparent with 13,447 fewer people out of work than a year ago.
The construction sector saw the healthiest increase with 730 less people looking for work as confidence gradually builds in the economy and the property market begins to recover.
A total of 3,634 new workers began paying into the social security system in February, and reports show that 25,540 more people were paying in than at the end of February 2014.
The up-to-date figures show a total of 509,682 jobs registered within the province, a sure sign that work is being created as the region slowly but surely begins to recover from the financial crisis.
In the Axarquia region, data has also showed positive results. Fifty people in Velez-Malaga found a job during the second month of 2015, with 9,975 currently without work in the town.
Torrox also saw an improvement in terms of employment with 29 new workers, and 1,758 unemployed people in total.
The best results were in Nerja, where the unemployment rate decreased by 54 residents.
Nationally, the number of registered unemployed fell by 13,538 during February, or just above 300,000 over a year to around 4.5 million.
“It was the largest year-on- year reduction in unemployment since 1999,” said a government statement.
Malaga was one of just three provinces in Andalucia where unemployment fell last month. The other two were Huelva, with 1,297 fewer people out of work, and Cadiz with 682.