Thursday 18th February 2022 – Mike Smith
Translated from an original article by Álvaro Monfort on Xàbia AL DÍA
2022 has began with an unusual drop in unemployment in Xàbia. According to the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), the municipality registered 1,444 unemployed, 44 less than in December 2021. Despite the continuing situation with COVID-19 which might have more obviously affected employment, it is the fifth consecutive month in which there has been a decrease in the number of unemployed people in the town.
A decrease in the unemployment figures for Xàbia at the beginning of the year is rare in a town that relies more heavily than others on the hospitality sector. It is more usual for unemployment to rise during the first quarter of the year, the low season. However, unemployment has quietly decreased again, and given that it has been doing so month after month suggests that an economic recovery is taking place.
When compared to last year, the situation is totally different. In January 2021, Xàbia registered 2,049 registered unemployed, a hugely depressing figure for a town like ours, although it has to be said that, at the time, we were still experiencing months of great socio-economic instability as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect hugely every part of our lives. Although the summer was a huge success in terms of the number of visitors that swarmed to our town, hardly surprising after months of confinement measures, an increase in tourism doesn’t always imply a growth in the local economy – and less so if you think about it in the context of a population eager to get out and enjoy themselves, despite the pandemic conditions.
In January 2020, two months before the state of alarm was declared across Spain as the coronavirus reached our shores, there were 1,541 registered unemployed in Xàbia, a higher figure than 2022. In January 2019, the figure stood at 1,551. Thus, it is clear to see from the data of the past three years that January 2022 is more positive in terms of employment that it was even before the pandemic.
January unemployment by gender, age and productive sector
According to SEPE, a total of 838 women and 606 men were registered as unemployed in Xàbia in January. In both cases, the most affected age group is once again that of those over 45 years of age, with 463 unemployed women and 349 men. Regarding the group of 25 to 44 years old, 330 women and 214 men were registered and in the group of people under 25 years old, 45 women and 43 men.
It should be noted that SEPE only takes into account those people formally registered with it and not people who work without a contract.
By productive sectors, the Services sector once again brings together the largest number of unemployed with 1,165 (6 less than in December 2021). Construction saw the greatest decrease with 155 unemployed people (27 less), whilst in Industry there was an increase to 43 unemployed (2 more) and in Agriculture and Fishing the same figure of 15 was maintained. 66 people without previous employment were registered with SEPE.