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Economically Active Population Survey. Q3/2020

The employed population of Catalonia fell by 4.0% year on year in the third quarter of 2020 and stands at 3,323,900. In absolute figures, the year-on-year decrease is 138,500 people. In comparison with the second quarter of 2020, there has been an increase of 96,400 people in employment (3.0%). The year-over-year fall excludes those affected by an ERTO (temporary lay-off with suspension of employment) which, as per the recommendations of the ILO and Eurostat's specifications, are counted as in employment for such time as there is a guarantee of returning to work when the suspension period ends. As for workers affected by an ERTO with a reduced workday, who are considered as employed according to the APS, their situation is reflected in a reduction of the hours actually worked, which have decreased by 9.6% compared to the same quarter of 2019 even thought there has been an increase of 16.1% compared to last quarter.

By sectors, if employment is compared in year-over-year terms, the sectors with the largest decreases in the employed population are services (−107,000 people; −4.1%) and industry (−36,300 people; −5.9%), followed by agriculture (−6,700 people; −12.3%). Construction grew by 11,600 people (6.1%). If compared with the previous quarter, the population in employment increased in all sectors, although most of the growth is concentrated in services (76,700 people; 3.2%) and in construction (18,400; 10.0%). By sex, in year-over-year terms employment fell more among women (&mnius;5.0%) than among men (−3.1%), who also performed more positively in the quarter. By ages, the sharpest decrease in employment compared with the previous year was among the 16-24 age group (−18.5%), the group that shows the largest increase over the previous quarter (18.2%). Employed people aged 55 or over show both a year-over-year growth (4.7%) and a quarter-over-quarter growth (3.3%). According to the type of workday, in year-over-year terms part-time employment (−11.7%) decreased more than full-time employment (−2.7%). Among the employed population by type of contract, the number of temporary contracts fell by 18.7%, while permanent contracts fell by 0.9%. In addition, part-time employment and temporary contracts showed the sharpest increases when compared with the previous quarter (9.1% and 7.4%, respectively).

The unemployment rate stood at 13.23%, with a total of 506,600 unemployed people (84,500 more than the previous year). By sex, unemployment among women increased by 22.6% year on year (with an unemployment rate of 14.33%), while among women it fell by 17.4% (with a rate of 12.23%). By ages, the increase in unemployment stands out in the 16 to 24 age group (34.1%), followed by the 25-54 age group (19.7%), and those aged 55 and over (3.8%). In comparison with the previous quarter, the unemployed population grew by 33,600 people (7.1%). It must be borne in mind that it is likely that the previous quarter many workers were classified as inactive and not as unemployed, in view of the fact that the confinement and cessation of activities triggered by the declaration of the state of alarm prevented them from fulfilling the conditions of the definition of unemployment used for the APS of actively seeking and being available for work. At the end of the confinement the behavior was normalized among the active population, recovering the number of active people and reducing, therefore, the one of the people who are outside the labor market. The inactive population in Catalonia fell by 122,900 people this quarter in comparison with the previous quarter (and rose by 89,300 compared with the same period last year).

With regard to specific sectors, employed people in the cultural sector stands at 164,100 people (4.9% of total employment) and decreased by 12.7% year over year and by 2.3% compared with the previous quarter. By sex, the cultural sector employs 97,100 men and 67,000 women.

In the tourism sector, the number of employed people is 415,500, a figure which accounts for 12.5% of the total employment. This figure means a decrease of 13.8% compared with the third quarter of 2019 and increase of 6.7% if compared with the second quarter of 2020. By sex, this sector employs 238,900 men and 176,600 women.

The ICT sector employs 128,700 people as at in the third quarter of 2020 (19.1% more than one year ago and 3.8% more than the previous quarter) and accounted for 3.9% of the total employment.

The health crisis caused by COVID-19 have had important effects on the EPA, both in terms of the interviews and in the impact on the variables it measures. In relation to fieldwork, in order to avoid risks to the health of informants and interviewers, personal interviews have been replaced by telephone interviews, which has meant reducing the sample size of the first interviews, since the telephone numbers of all households entering the sample for the first time were not available. Successive interviews have not been affected, since they are mostly carried out by telephone.