The province is experiencing a painful hangover after the tourist season, with a huge loss of jobs which contradicts those who were hopeful that things were getting better. Figures just released by the Ministry of Work show that 8,295 more people registered as unemployed in October: this is the worst increase since the crisis began, specifically since October 2008. In Andalucía, more than 25 per cent of the newly unemployed are in Malaga province. With this latest increase, the province has once again passed the dreaded figure of 200,000: there are now 205,275 people looking for work.
Just one month has eradicated half of the jobs that were created by the tourist season between April and September. Added to the increase in September, the number of newly unemployed has risen to 13,179 and the Services sector is particularly badly affected. In fact, never before have so many people from this sector registered as newly unemployed: 8,298. For the secretary of Employment and Union Action of the UGT in Malaga, María Auxiliadora Jiménez, this shows that in the summer season "the contracts which were issued were precarious and unstable".
The debacle of the Services sector contrasts with the surprising downward trend in unemployment in the Construction industry for the seventh consecutive month, when 496 people found work. However this data is treated with great scepticism in some quarters. "It could be due to the transfer of unemployed people to other sectors where there is more chance of finding work", says the UGT spokeswoman.
Even though October is traditionally a bad month for employment because of the end of summer contracts, such an enormous increase in the unemployed cannot only be attributed to this. Antonio García Lizana, Professor of Economic Politics at the University of Malaga, believes there is "a structural problem which makes the seasonal one worse". In other words, the crisis has worsened again, as is shown by the high increase in inter-annual unemployment. Between the months of October in 2011 and 2012, 16,000 more people have registered as unemployed, almost double than in the previous year.
For García Lizana, "until the problem of the economy is tackled, unemployment is not going to go down. The problem is partly of supply, or productivity, and partly of demand, with a big reduction in public and private spending and investment. The governments are harnessed to the problems of the public deficit, committed to reductions in spending and increases in taxes, but these problems won't be solved if they don't resolve the problem of demand", he argues. In his opinion, a reduction in IVA and greater efforts to combat poverty would give better results than the present politics of adjustment.
The Confederation of Businesses of Malaga has issued a similar message, pointing out the importance of "not decreasing productive investment in the province". It also calls for the adoption of urgent initiatives which give confidence to investors, reduce fiscal and administrative pressure on small and medium sized businesses and the self-employed and create confidence for the relaunching of the business sector.