Unemployment figures 2013-14

Unemployment figures 2013-14

Update 2 December 2014: The Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social’s figures for those registered as unemployed in the Canaries in December show yet another drop, by 406 (0.15%) to 265,385. Interannually, it’s a drop of 17,993 (6.35%), but in a sad example of how statistics contradict official statements of economic improvement, the figures also show for the time that more than half  – 50.6% – are now without any welfare support at all. As I posted in April, “47.1%, are now without any welfare support of any form”, and it has been around that figure for the last few months. Now we can actually say that the majority of the unemployed here are without any welfare support at whatsoever.

Update 4 November: And still this year, there have only been two months in which unemployment rose in the Canaries, with the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social’s figures for October showing a drop, albeit tiny, of 0.32 %, or 846 unemployed fewer compared with September. In interannual terms, unemployment has fallen by 18,518, a drop of 6.51%, compared with October 2013. The number registered as out of work in the islands is 265,791.

Update 2 October: So far this year, only Janary and March have seen rises in unemployment in the Canaries, with the rest of the year showing a clear, if slow, downward trend in numbers out of work. And that continues with September’s figures, released today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, which show the number of registered unemployed in the Canaries as 266,637, a drop of 31 individuals, or 0.01%, on August, and in interannual terms, of 17,435 or 6.14% compared to September 2013. Again as last month, the fall, albeit tiny, in the Canaries is despite a rise nationally, where figures throughout Spain show unemployment rose by 19,720 from August, leaving 4,447,650 out of work. 

Update 2 September: Despite the first national rise for six months, unemployment fell in the Canaries with 1,754 fewer people out of work, a drop of 0.65% on last month, and of 6.79% on August 2013 . Within the Canaries, the eastern province did slightly better with a fall of 1,090 (-0.77%) compared with Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s drop of 664 (-0.53%). There are now 266,668 unemployed in the islands, say the monthly statistics issued today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social.

Update 4 August: Unemployment fell in the Canaries by 1,637 in July, a fall of 0.61% from June and leaving 268,422 out of work in these islands, the latest figures from the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social show. Interannually, last month’s figures are down 21,953 from July 2013, a drop of 7.56% in the Canaries.

Of the 268,422 out of work here, 142,085 are in the eastern province of Las Palmas, where unemployment dropped 1.319 (-0.92%) in July, and 318 (-0,25%) in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, leaving 126,337 out of work in Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

Nationally, numbers registered as unemployed fell by 29,841, a drop of 0.67% on June, leaving 4,419,860 out of work in Spain. These falls are normal in summer – unemployment hasn’t risen in July since 2008 – though three regional communities did register rises, namely Aragón (317), Murcia (1,689) and Madrid (550).

Update 2 July:  Canarian unemployment fell in the Canaries by 1.59% in June, meaning that there are 4,353 fewer unemployed than in May. There are now 270,059 people out of work throughout the islands, according to figures released today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social. Year on year, unemployment has fallen by 22,995 compared to June 2013, a fall of 7.85%. Nationally, Spain’s unemployment fell in June by 122,684, leaving 4.4m out of work throughout the country.

Update 3 June: May’s unemployment figures have been released by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, and show that in the Canaries jobless numbers fell by 2,374 from April, a drop of 0.86%. There are now 274,412 people out of work in the islands. Compared with May 2013, last month’s figures show a drop of 7.41%, which in absolute terms takes 21,950 off the lists of the unemployed over the last year. Nationally, unemployment fell in May by 111,916, leaving 4,572,385 people out of work.

Update 6 May: The Canaries’ unemployment figures for April fell by 712, a drop of 0.26% on March, and an interannual reduction of 19,038, a drop of 6.44% compared with April 2013. There are now 276,786 out of work in the islands. In the two provices, Tenerife is faring slightly better than Las Palmas, with 129,603 unemployed and a monthly drop of 0.45% compared with 147,183 unemployed and a fall of 0.09% in the eastern province.

Update 2 April: Spain as a whole is predicting very slow and fragile growth, but is claiming support for this by a further drop in the numbers of people out of work for what is now the eigth consecutive month to 4.8m unemployed nationally. Here in the Canaries, however, unemployment rose by 1,947 in March, a further rise of 0.75% on February, leaving 277,498 out of work in these islands: a possibly even more tragic figure is that almost half, 47.1%, are now without any welfare support of any form, a figure confirmed by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social.

For those who might need to know what to ask for if they need help themselves, the 52.9% of Canarian unemployed who are getting some welfare help are receiving either “prestación contributiva” (54,343), subsidio (69,235), or “renta activa de inserción” (22,085). Given the numbers it is easy to work out that this means 129,888 people in the Canaries are without any income whatsoever. The only possibly positive news in this whole sorry affair is that unemployment fell this March compared with March 2013, a drop of 14,174, or 4.86%.

Update 4 March: Unemployment fell slightly last month, dropping 483 people, leaving 275,551 out of work here, a monthly fall of 0.17%. The tiny drop is perhaps significant because this is the first February since 2007 in which a fall has been recorded: normally there is a rise with temporary winter contracts coming to an end: in February 2009, for example, it rose 154,000! If unemployment has fallen here despite this seasonal factor, it could offer some support to the authorities’ claims that things are on the up here, at last. It might be grasping at straws, but at least there is a straw to grasp at!

Update 4 February: After a few good months with unemployment figures falling, January’s statistics show a rise of 0.72%, with some 1,981 more people out of work than in December. The increase is being put down to the ending of temporary contracts granted either for the latter half of 2013, or the Christmas period. The figures were released today by the Ministerio de Empleo, and they confirm a total of 276,034 out of work in the Canaries. In the western province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife it rose by 777, a total of 129,256 unemployed in Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

Unemployment rose throughout Spain in January, but the Canaries had the lowest rise; only the Balearics had a drop in numbers out of work. And yet, nationally, January unemployment figures overall rose by the smallest amount for seven years. It was the Balearics, too, that had the best interannual drop, 5%. The Canaries was again in second place, close behind, however, with a fall of 4.66%, 13,483 unemployed compared with January 2013. In Tenerife’s province, the yearly drop was 4.68%, 6,348.

Only the other day Canarian president Paulino Rivero claimed that this is “the beginning of the good times”. His critics said that the figures are misleading because the recent drops did not represent real jobs. January’s figures bring an always unwelcome rise, but there seem reasons for some optimism all the same. Let’s hope they’re not illusory, and that those hoping for recovery are seeing genuine glimmers of hope rather than clutching at straws.

Update 3 January 2014: Last year ended with unemployment figures continuing to fall, with a drop of 9,300 throughout the Canaries, making a fall of 10,862 throughout the year. That leaves 274,000 people out of work here. We have to hope that this improvement continues, and the president of the Canaries, Paulino Rivero, has nailed his colours to the mast by claiming that this is “the beginning of the good times”. I’m sure he hopes he’s right, for more than one reason, not least to counter his critics, who claim that the figures are misleading because the drop does not represent real jobs.

They claim, indeed, that the situation is actually worse than previously because numbers of long term unemployed who are now beyond all state assistance have risen, and now represent a frightening 47.9%, nearly half, of those out of work – and this figure is confirmed by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social. If President Rivero is right, things are on the up, but I don’t think anyone is beguiled into thinking that recovery will be quick, or easy.

Update 3 December 2013:  A breath of Christmas relief with November’s figures, which show a reduction of 931 in the numbers of unemployed, a drop of 0.33% compared to October. Not much, but at this point I’m sure we’ll take any positive sign! There are now 283,378 people out of work in the Canaries. It is the eastern province of Las Palmas which has benefited in the main, however, with 820 of the 911 living in Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura or Lanzarote. Tenerife’s numbers (including La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro) fell by 111.

Update 5 November: October’s unemployment figures rose again, with a further 237 added to the queues of the jobless throughout the Canaries. The increase represents a growth of  0.08% on September, with Tenerife performing twice as badly as Las Palmas, though the Government is at pains to stress that in year-on-year terms, it actually represents a drop of 1.22%, with 3,511 fewer unemployed than this time last year. There are, however, still 284,309 people without work in these islands.

Update 24 October: Unemployment fell in Spain between July and September by just under 73,000, the biggest quarterly drop for several years, but these islands suffered the largest increase in any autonomous region, with an additional 22,000 out of work. Despite official claims only yesterday of a “recovery” that would see the Canaries come out of recession before the end of 2013 (yesterday’s post HERE), figures for the last quarter released today by the National Statistics Institute show that Canarian unemployment figures not only fail to confirm the rhetoric, but have also bucked their own downwards trend of the past few months, suggesting that the positive statistics were indeed the result of no more than a summer blip. There are now 393,400 people in these islands out of work, meaning that Canarian unemployment now stands at an horrendous 35.12%.

Update 2 October: Canarian unemployment has fallen again. Hardly at all, but the downward trend continues. While Spain as a whole has seen September’s unemployment figures rise by 25,572 people, an increase on August of 0.54%, the Canaries is one of just five autonomous regions where it has dropped with 2,009 fewer people out of work, a fall of 0.70%.

There are now 284,072 unemployed in these islands, still an horrendous figure, but down not just from last month, but also from this time last year – interannual figures show a drop of 1.64% compared to a rise of 0.41 in Spain. September is the first month that unemployment has gone up in Spain nationally in six months, a rise presumed to be due to the end of summer employment contracts. Here in the Canaries, one might have expected that factor to apply just as much. That it didn’t, and indeed that out of work numbers fell, can be taken as a real sign of some hope.

Update 3 September: Well whatever it is it seems to be working. As I posted in my last update, unemployment fell in these islands in the second quarter of 2013, and now we have one the highest unemployment drops in Spain for August, with 4,294 fewer people out of work compared to July. This drop of 1.48% (a fall of 0.9% compared to August 2012) now leaves 286,081 unemployed throughout the Canaries. By provinces, Las Palmas fell 1.47% compared to the slightly higher drop of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1.49% (2,022). Spain nationally itself showed a fall too, which raises hopes, dare I even say it, that the recession is finally starting to be left behind.

Update 25 July: Unemployment fell by 14,300 in the Canaries in the second quarter of 2013, a fall of 1.21%, and one of the largest drops in Spain for the period. The number of unemployed is now 371,300, a dreadful rate of  33.69%, and 5% higher than the same period in 2012, but at least there’s a momentary breather with these latest figures. The current rates of unemployment between the eastern and western provinces here in the Canaries are 35.11% in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and 32.12% in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Update 2 July: A bit of respite with the very welcome news this month that June’s unemployment figures fell dramatically in Spain nationally, though the overall figure is still above that of a year ago. In the Canaries, there was not the same sort of fall, but there were still 3,308 fewer people out of work, a drop of 1.12%: there are now 293,054 unemployed in these islands. As with the national figures, Canarian unemployment is still higher than this time last year, but any drop is gratefully received right now.

Update 4 June: The Canaries was the only autonomous region of Spain, apart from the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa, where unemployment went up in May, rising 0.28% from April’s figures, a further 538 people out of work. The number of unemployed in these islands now stands at 296,362. May’s increase is divided fairly equally between the provinces but again slightly worse for the eastern one: 229 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 309 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The total unemployed in each province is 138,884 in the SCdT, and 157,478 in LPdGC.

Update 6 May: The figures in the previous post below were for the first quarter of 2013, i.e. up to the end of March. Now, April’s figures have been released and show it has gone up in the Canaries yet again, a further 1.42%, equating to 4.152 more people out of work, the largest rise of any of the Spanish autonomous regions.

Also up is the figure of those who are beyond the end of their help and in receipt of no income whatsoever. There are now a further 4,350 people in that situation, a total of 130,314 – that’s 130,314 people on no assistance at all. Nearly half – 44.68% – of the registered unemployed in the islands are without any income. How are these people supposed to live? It is worth noting, too, that Spain’s next budget has reduced the amount needed for unemployment benefit: the Government knows that there will be fewer people receiving paro as they fall off the end of their entitlement. The problem is that they’re not falling into a job.

Nationally, only the Canaries, the  Comunidad Valenciana, and the Ceuta and Melilla enclaves in north Africa, saw rises. Throughout Spain, it fell ever so slightly, less than 1% on average, but at least a fall, and brings the national figure back under the psychological 5 million barrier … only just, though, at 4,989,193.

Update 25 April: On the day when Spain’s unemployment statistics nationwide were officially announced to have hit a new record high of 27.2%, equating to six million people out of work, Canarian figures themselves were released showing 17,200 more unemployed in the islands during the first quarter of 2013, leading to an awful rate of 34.27% here, a total of 385,600 people out of work. Only Andalusia with 36.87 % and Extremadura with 35.56 % have worse figures throughout Spain.

Between the two Canarian provinces, Las Palmas has 209,100 unemployed, a rate of 35.24%, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife has 176,500, 33.18%. The regional statistics also show that two out of every three people out of work are now officially long-term unemployed: all 243,300 of these have been seeking work for more than a year. They also show that 118,000 households, 15% of the total, now have every single member out of work.

Update 4 March: And it has risen again. February’s figures released today show a further 1,957 people out of work in the Canaries, bringing the total unemployed in the islands to 291,474. The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro) suffered more than Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote): in SCT, 1,163 more people are unemployed than in January, bringing the total to 136,767, whereas in LPGC, the number rose by 794, bringing the eastern province’s unemployed up to 154,707.

Update 4 February 2013: Up and up it goes. According to figures released today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, the number of unemployed registered in the Canaries has risen again, by 4,602 people out of work in January compared with December, a further rise of 1.6%. This brings the total of the unemployed in these islands to 289,517.

In Spain nationally, unemployment is now at a frightening 4,980,778.

Update 4 December 2012: It seems that October’s fall in unemployment figures was a blip after all. November’s are now released, and show a further 1,212 out of work, leaving 289,032 unemployed in the islands as a whole.  Of those, appallingly, around 124,000 are beyond the end of their unemployment benefit, and indeed beyond the end of any additional help whatsoever. The figures mean that 43.04% of the unemployed are without any income at all. Nearly half. In a civilized first world country. Which is why some are questioning whether Spain deserves those labels.

Update 6 November: October’s figures show that unemployment has gone down in the Canaries by nearly a thousand, the biggest fall nationally. Whilst it’s good news for the moment, the year on year figures show that we had 30,000 more unemployed here this October than last. Let’s hope it continues, and that it’s not just a blip.

Original post 26 October 2012: On the day that unemployment figures announced for the Canaries show that it has gone up yet again, with a further 7,400 out of work – there are now 378,200 unemployed in the islands, a rate of 33.69% – this youtube video has gone viral. Just enjoy!




  1. Perhaps there will be some rebalancing on the islands that have agreed major hotel renovation contracts. So jobs in construction and associated suppliers will go up. Jobs in bars and restaurants, apartment cleaning etc may go down. As we know some of these will be illegal anyway. It would be interesting to see a breakdown per island. I’m suspecting Fuerte’s unemployment will continue to rise, as we have no major (or in fact any) renovation or new build projects at the moment, so less potential for new job creation in the short-term. But apparently Lanzarote and Fuerte have the largest amount of buildable land for new development, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are much more saturated. While this is good, I do hope they don’t get carried away and overbuild. Our resort has had tightly planned tourist development from the beginning and they have done a good job so far, with a number of new low-rise 5 star hotels along the coast. It is still a tiny resort though and that’s why we like it.

  2. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of unemployed by nationality. When we first visited the Canaries 16 years ago many of the workers in the service sector were Canarian and Spanish mainlanders. These days in the tourist resorts workers seem to come from all over the world.

  3. How many people have left the islands?

  4. Author

    Quite a few, and I see where you’re coming from! The figures are better throughout Spain though, so there will be a genuine component too.

  5. I wonder how much of this is down to the unrest in Egypt though, rather than government policy? Certainly I have never seen Fuerteventura so busy as it is now, especially compared to last year, when we had an 11 percent drop in visitors. More people coming equates to more jobs I guess, which is a good thing.

  6. As your El Pais link points out Janet, the reduction in Spain came to a grand total of 31. I think Nigel has hit the nail on the head and it makes you wonder what the figure would be for the mainland if people were not emigrating. Either way, to have 5.977 million registered unemployed should be made a crime.

  7. Janet – are there any statistics issued for monthly emigration/immigration numbers ? It would be interesting to know if this is a factor for the Sept Canarian unemployment data.

  8. Author

    Yes, but I don’t have a link to them to hand, I’m afraid, and a bit pressed for time to look right now. I agree it would be interesting though.

  9. Unemployment increased according to your el pais link:


    Here is a summary of what they reported;

    The poor quality of the jobs created was evidenced by the fact that the number of people on indefinite contracts fell by 146,300, while the number of people hired on a temporary basis rose by 169,500. In addition, employment only grew in the services sector and declined in the rest of the economy.

    Of the 39,500 additional people who found work, 15,200 were self-employed. The number of public sector workers employed declined by 12,600 due to the government’s austerity drive.

    The size of the total active population declined in the quarter by 33,300 to 22.728 million, possibly influenced by an increase in the number of young people who have emigrated.

    Correcting for seasonal effects and the number of working days, unemployment actually increased 0.21 percent and employment fell 0.42 percent, the 22nd straight quarter in which the number of those in work has declined.

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