Unemployment out of control in Almeria

The latest unemployment figures for Almería are, frankly, staggering: A further 1,700 people joined the dole queue last month, bringing the total number of people claiming the dole to 74,000 in the province. However, bearing in mind the number of people not eligible for dole (ie it’s ended and they can’t find work), the latest EPA (Encuesta de la Populación Activa, Study of the Active Population) claims that 111,000 people are hunting for work in Almería.

This is bearing in mind that we’re in the middle of the summer season, with the bars open and lots of work going in the local tourist trade. Ah hem.

Of course, the cynic in me suggests that a number of these people are working, but the bar owners / hotels / [insert business here] aren’t keen on paying the high taxes the government insists upon for hiring people legally – currently, about 45% of the base salary for temporary workers, 42% for full timers. Plus holidays, trainings, health and safety and a nice cash sum at the end of their contract. But maybe that’s just me.

The IU party, always there with a handy soundbite, snidely said that the most anticipated opening of the El Corte Inglés does not seem to have had the promised effect [..] of turning around our province’s economy. It’s wisecracks like this that make me consider voting for them. Then I look at their solution for the recession, and spot their plan is to prevent job losses by make it harder for companies to fire people. Right.

It’s bleeding obvious that in an economy where the only jobs going are short term jobs based around the tourism trade, it needs to be easier and cheaper to hire and fire people. Whereas both the IU and the PSOE both seem incapable of separating job creation from job retention (or even admitting that Spain’s black economy is around 20% of GDP and growing fast).

Still, good news for autonomos who don’t mind paying even more (see autonomos get the dole)

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