Viral map reveals Spain's jobless hotspots

George Mills
George Mills - [email protected]
Viral map reveals Spain's jobless hotspots
An image showing unemployment in Spain's municipalities in January 2014. The dark red areas have a jobless rate of 30 percent or higher. Screen grab: mapadelparo

A new map puts Spain's chronic unemployment under the microscope, showing which parts of the country have been hardest hit by the jobs crisis.


The Google-based map gives a breakdown of Spanish employment at provincial and municipal levels.

Based on official data from Spain's Ministry of Employment and Social Security (SEPE) and National Statistics Institute (INE), it shows just how severe the effects of the country's economic crisis have been.

Not one of Spain's 50 provinces could boast of an unemployment rate of less than 10 percent in the final quarter of 2013, according to SEPE, while that figure was a staggering 37.04 percent in Andalusia's Cordoba province.

At the lower end of the scale, the Basque province of Gipuzkoa (home to the city of San Sebastian) had an unemployment rate of 12.75 percent. In Madrid province, meanwhile, that figure was 21.03 percent and in Barcelona province it was slightly higher at 21.74 percent. 

At the municipal level, the picture becomes much more complicated, INE data shows. Here, January 2014 figures show a dark red stain across the centre of Spain, indicating jobless rates of over 30 percent.

SEE ALSO: Seven shocking facts about Spanish unemployment.

There are more white zones — or areas where unemployment is lower than 10 percent — in the centre and north of the country, although these can be found throughout the country. Andalusia, for example, is home to a fair number of these areas, especially in Jaén province. 

But these ares of 'high employment' can also be misleading. The Valencian municipality of Estubeny, for example, has an unemployment rate of just 7 percent. But the total active population of the area — that is, people either working or looking for work — is just 107 people.

The Catalan municipality of Gisclareny can boast an unemployment level of 0 percent. This is not quite so impressive given the total active population of the area comprises just 6 people.  

The municipality of Barcelona, with just over 1 million active people, has unemployment of 10 percent while in Madrid, with an active population of nearly 2 million, the jobless rate is 13 percent.  

The Unemployment Map uses Spain's two sets of unemployment figures, providing different estimates.

SEPE figures are based on the number of unemployed persons registered in their offices. The INE, however, conducts a survey (the EPA) of some 65,000 Spanish households to obtain its results.

The EPA includes responses from some people who want to work but who are not registered in local employment offices. Answers also include those who fall into other special working categories not recorded by the employment ministry.

The EPA results are considered Spain's official unemployment rate. But the maker of the Unemployment Map Miguel García points out that the SEPE data provides a great deal of detail at the level of local unemployment offices.

Spain's official unemployment in the final quarter of 2013 was 26.03 percent, up slightly from the 25.98 percent recorded in the previous quarter.

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