Friday 12th February 2021 | ALVARO MONFORT (Xàbia AL DÍA)
During January, Xàbia passed the 2,000 mark in unemployment, reaching the figure of 2,049 people out of work, 101 people more than at the end of 2020, according to data from the State Public Employment Service. With this devastating data, the sad trend is continued, which has been common since August last year, in which an average of 100 more unemployed people are added each month and which was pleasantly interrupted in December when unemployment increased by just 32.
Trying not to reach the barrier of 2,000 mark was a difficult challenge to achieve given the growing evolution of the health and economic crisis in La Marina and the Valencian region, but not impossible. Presumably, the fact that it has not been possible has to do with the tightening of restrictions to stop the advance of the pandemic that the regional government declared on January 15th and that fully affect sectors such as the hospitality industry which is all but closed until further notice and which is a great engine of the local economy these days.
Nor should we rule out a situation of wear and tear in the small local businesses that, after enduring the onslaught in recent months, have not been able to withstand the losses brought about by a more pressing off-season than normal due to the pandemic. Many long-standing businesses have closed indefinitely or reduced their stock in order to cope with the current complex situation.
When were these numbers last seen?
Passing 2,000 unemployed xabieros and xabieras is not new, unfortunately. But not usual. You have to go back to the last great economic crisis that took place between 2008 and 2014 to find similar data. In February 2012, the last highest unemployment figure was registered in the municipality, reaching 2,254 people.
In this context of recession, in 2011, between January and March and October and December; 2,000 people were also unemployed. Then, in 2012 this figure was exceeded between January and May and between September and December, this being the hardest period.
In 2013, figures above 2,000 were recorded in the autumn and winter months. In the first three months of 2014, more than 2,000 unemployed people were recorded again, but after the summer and with the start of the low season, this figure was not exceeded again, showing a gradual recovery from that moment on and throughout 2015.
These are not easy times. Society is not only facing a strong economic crisis like the one that began approximately a decade ago, but this crisis is the result of a pandemic that is putting the health and lives of people and the health system at risk in a forceful and rapid way.
The figures for January 2021
Month after month, the age group most affected is those over 45 years of age. Last month, a total of 986 unemployed persons were counted within it (564 women and 422 men, increasing the figure for both sexes compared to December).
These are followed by the range between 25 and 44 years old, which added a total of 878 unemployed (503 women and 375 men, again more than in the last month of 2020).
Finally, the group made up of those under 25 years of age registered a total of 185 unemployed persons (93 men and 92 women. Their number falling and rising by 1 respectively).
Regarding new employment, 359 new contracts were signed in January, 79 less than in December and 291 of a temporary nature.
By sectors, Xàbia continues to register the highest amount of unemployment in the Services sector which, in January, experienced a new increase with 1,627 unemployed (119 more than in December). Construction continues to give a pulse to the economic crisis, and decreases with 216 people without employment (18 less). Industry also fell for the second month in a row by one person with 52 people. Finally, Fisheries and Agriculture increased their unemployment figure, remaining to 25 (3 more).
The start of the new year has not been anything promising in La Marina Alta either. In Dénia the unemployment figure also increased to 4,372 and in Calp it grew to 2,150. Xàbia remains the third municipality in La Marina with the highest unemployment rate.
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