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Economically Active Population Survey. Q2/2020

The employed persons of Catalonia fell by 5.9% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020 and stood at 3,227,500 people. In absolute figures the interannual decrease is 203,600 people. In comparison with the first quarter of 2020, there was a loss of 223,700 employed persons (−6.5%), a figure that does not include those affected by an ERTO (temporary layoff with suspension of employment), which, according to the recommendations of the ILO and Eurostat specifications, they are considered employed persons as long as there is a guarantee of reinstatement in the workplace at the end of the suspension period. With regard to workers affected by an ERTO with reduced working hours, who are considered employed persons according to the EPA, their situation is reflected in a reduction in hours actually worked, which have decreased by 29.8% compared to the same quarter of 2019.

By sectors, if employment is compared in year-over-year terms, the sectors with the largest decreases in the employed persons were services (−149,300 people; −5.8%) and industry (−51,400 people; −8.1%). In comparison with the previous quarter, the largest decreases have been in services (−180,000 people; −6.9%), construction (−22,100 people; −10.7%) and industry (−21,700; −3.6%), while agriculture has remained stable. By sex, in year-over-year terms employment fell more among women (−6.7%) than among men (−5.3%). By ages, the sharpest decrease in employment compared to the previous year was among the 16-24 age group (−26.1%), followed by the 25- 54 age group (−6.0%). The employed persons aged 55 and over grew by 2.6% year-over-year. According to the type of workday, part-time employment (−17.2%) decreased more than full-time employment (−4.0%). Among the employed persons by type of contract, the number of temporary contracts fell by 19.0%, while permanent contracts fell by 3.1%.

The unemployment rate stood at 12.78%, with a total of 472,900 unemployed persons (41,700 more than the previous year). By sex, unemployment among men increased by 11.4% year-over-year (with an unemployment rate of 12.66%), while among women it fell by 7.8% (with a rate of 12.91%). By ages, the increase in unemployment stood out in the 16 to 24 age group (25.4%), followed by the 25-54 age group (7.8%), while among those aged 55 and over it fell by 0.6% year-over-year. In comparison with the previous quarter, the unemployed population grew by 61,300 people (14.9%). Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that it is likely that many workers have been 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 has prevented them from fulfilling the conditions of the definition of unemployment used for the EPA of actively seeking and being available for work. In this regard, the inactive population in Catalonia rose by 166,400 people this quarter in comparison with the previous quarter (209,100 in the same period last year).

With regard to specific sectors, the employed persons in the cultural sector stood at 168,000 people (5.2% of total employment) and decrease by 7.6% year-over-year and by 5.0% compared with the previous quarter. By sex, the cultural sector employed 97,100 men and 70,900 women.

In the tourism sector, the number of employed persons is 389,400 people, a figure which accounts for 12.1% of the total employment. This figure means an decrease of 17.1% compared with the second quarter of 2019 and decrease of 15.6% if compared with the first quarter of 2020. By sex, this sector employed 214,900 men and 174,500 women.

The ICT sector employed 124,100 people in the second quarter of 2020 (28.6% more than one year ago and 7.6% more than the previous quarter) and accounted for 3.8% of the total employment rate.

The health crisis caused by COVID-19 and the state of alarm, in force for most of the second quarter, as well as the different phases of de-escalation, 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.