May 21th 2024 | 11:51

Bizkaia

Unemployment increases in Q1 2024 in the Basque Country

6,5 million euros allocated by Lanbide, to strengthen support and employment units in Special Centers

Jesus Carames

April 18, 2024 | 6:06 p.m.

The beginning of 2024 has brought mixed changes in the labor market of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (CAPV), with a notable increase in the number of employed people and a slight increase in the unemployment rate. This phenomenon reflects a complex labor dynamic, where growth in employment does not necessarily translate into a reduction in unemployment due to variations in the active labor force.

During the first quarter of 2024, the CAPV experienced an increase of 1.500 employed people compared to the previous quarter, raising the total to 980.900. This growth is part of a broader positive trend observed over the last year, where the number of employed people increased by 17.800 people, or 1,8%. This increase was distributed mainly in the services sector, which added 11.500 jobs, and in industry, with 6.800 new jobs, while construction experienced a decline, losing 600 jobs.

Increase in the unemployment rate

Counterintuitively, the unemployment rate increased from 7,2% to 7,9% compared to the last quarter of 2023. This translates into 9.100 more people classified as unemployed, adding up to a total of 84.600 unemployed. This increase can be attributed to a growth in the labor force, that is, more people are actively looking for work, which can dilute the effects of the increase in employment on the unemployment rate.

Geographic and demographic distribution

Geographically, changes in employment were not uniform across the region:

  • Gipuzkoa showed the greatest dynamism, adding 4.500 jobs.
  • alava It also saw a modest increase of 1.000 jobs.
  • By cons, Bizkaia experienced a significant decline, losing 4.000 jobs.

From a demographic perspective, employment increased among men (+3.500), while it decreased among women (-2.000). This gender divergence in job creation highlights persistent structural challenges in the labor market that may necessitate policies specifically aimed at supporting female employability.

Implications for public policies

The increase in the activity rate to 56,4% suggests that more people are willing and available to work, which is a healthy indicator of economic participation. However, the simultaneous increase in the unemployment rate and employment underscores the need for policies that not only create jobs, but also improve the match between workers' skills and available jobs.

Future perspectives

Looking ahead, regional government and policymakers will need to consider strategies that strengthen sectors where jobs have been lost, such as construction, and that support populations that have seen fewer benefits from job growth, especially women. and the workers in Bizkaia. Furthermore, the integration of training strategies that better align the supply and demand of skills could mitigate the increase in the unemployment rate and improve the quality of jobs created.

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