According to data published on Wednesday by the employment and social security ministry, Malaga was the Spanish province where employment increased the most in 2017. The province saw an increase of 28,486 people paying into the social security system through work, just over a quarter of the 100,000 extra in Andalucía overall.
Malaga province's growth (including the Costa del Sol) translates into a 5.17% increase, compared to a national average of 3.42% and an Andalusian regional figure of 3.44%.
The good news was part of end-of-year data that showed the number of registered unemployed in Malaga ended the year on 157,573, roughly the same figure as 2009, just ahead of the worst years of the global economic crisis. This figure was a 6.7% drop on the number of locally registered unemployed at the end of 2016.
The biggest fall in Malaga province and the Costa del Sol has been in the service sector, which employs 80% of those in work. In that sector unemployment fell 3.6%. However it is construction that has seen the biggest percentage drop in the area, with a year-on-year fall of 15% in the number out of work.
Most new jobs for 12 years
On a national level, the end-of-year social security data showed that Spain created the most new jobs in 2017 of any year in the past 12, with 611,146 people extra people paying into the system. At the end of 2017, there were 3,412,781 people registered in welfare offices as unemployed, 290,193 less than at the end of 2016 and 61,500 less than at the end of November.
The government also announced that new contracts reached new records. In 2017 21.5 million new work contracts were signed of which 19.5 million were temporary contracts. Government and observers have said that the challenge for the coming years is to turn more of these short-term contracts into permanent jobs.