Update 27 July: Latest figures for the second quarter of 2012 show unemployment figures rising in a dozen autonomous regions, the Canaries among them. The rise in these islands was of a further 2.32%, says the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), bringing the Canaries unemployment rate to 33.14%.
Update 4 June: And it has risen again, with May seeing a further 4,476 people out of work in these islands. Throughout Spain there was an average fall in unemployment of 0.63%, the figure representing a drop in all but in two regions: Extremadura and here, where we have a rise of 1.55%. There are now 293,228 unemployed in the Canaries, figures which represent an extra 38,887 people out of work in the last 12 months, an increase of 15.29%, almost three points above the national average rise.
Within the Canaries themselves, the eastern province of Las Palmas has 2,414 more unemployed through May, a rise of 1.57%, whereas the rise is 2,062 in the western province of Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. The total figures for the two provinces are 156,153 in Las Palmas, a rise of 13.89% or 19,047 people in the last year, and 137,075 for Santa Cruz, a rise of 16.92%, or 19,840 people.
Update 4 May: It’s relentless. April’s figures, released today by the Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración, show that a further 5,053 people in the Canaries became unemployed over the last month, an increase of another 1.78% on figures that are already horrifying and the largest increase throughout the Spanish regions.
Update 27 April: And unemployment has risen yet again, to 32.28%, according to figures released by the National Statistics Institute. The rate means that 362,300 people in the Canaries are out of work, an increase of 20,400 in the first quarter of 2012. Only Ceuta and Andalucía have higher unemployment in Spain, with rates of 35.51% and 33.17% respectively, considerably more than the national average of 24.44%, representing 5,639,500 people without a job. Here in the Canaries, the 32.28% rate reflects 33.75% unemployment in the eastern province of Las Palmas, and 30.75 % in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which means that some 169.500 people in Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro are out of work.
Update 5 March: As an illustration of the effects of this rise in unemployment, statistics from June last year showed that 40% of the unemployed in the Canaries were beyond the end of their unemployment benefit and therefore without any means of financial assistance whatsoever. Now, latest figures from January show that this figure itself has shot up by 41% in the last year. According to figures from the Ministerio de Empleo, there is now a record number of 90,302 unemployed in these islands who receive no public assistance, a rise of 26,493 over the past year. A tragic human and social picture arising from what might otherwise be bald figures.
Update 2 March: And it rose again in February. There are now 278,898 unemployed in the Canaries, a rise of 1.79% in February alone. In human terms, that’s 4,915 more people out of work. In Tenerife and the western province specifically, this means 2,083 more unemployed in the last month, a rise of 1.62%.
Original post 27 January: It is a symbolic number that has been feared for some time, even though one or two positive stories about the rate of unemployment raised hopes that it might not actually happen. Those hopes have been dashed, however, with the news that unemployment in the Canaries is now over 30%. Latest figures show that the number of those out of work in the islands rose 27,500 throughout 2011, leaving 341,900 people without work, up 8.75% on 2010.
The exact rate we are suffering here is 30.93%, according to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE). The breakdown is Las Palmas province 32,36%, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife 29,46%. In Spain as a whole, only Andalucia has a worse rate, at 31.23%.