After nine years, Malaga once again has 600,000 people in work. It is a level which hadn't been reached since 2008, when the crisis began to knock at the door of the local economy, and now the latest Survey of the Active Population (EPA), for 2017, says there are 601,700 workers in the province.
This landmark figure has been achieved thanks to the strong rhythm of job creation during the past year: the working population increased by 31,600 between the final quarters of 2016 and 2017.
The active population remained mainly stable throughout 2017, so unemployment that year reduced at much the same rate as jobs were created: 32,700 people.
However, this is still one of the provinces most affected by unemployment, because there are still 157,400 people registered as out of work.
In fact, although we can say that employment has practically returned to pre-crisis levels, that is not the case with unemployment.
This paradox was explained a few weeks ago by the president of the Confederation of Businesses of Malaga and Andalucía, Javier González de Lara, who said that when the province grows and jobs are created, the active population also increases because people from elsewhere come looking for work, so it is difficult for unemployment to drop substantially.
What is certain is that in comparison with the other provinces in Andalucía, Malaga has the lowest rate of unemployment, at 20.73 per cent, after dropping four points compared with the last quarter of 2016 (when it was 25 per cent).
The Andalusian average is 24.43 per cent. Of course, the province still has a way to go to reach the national average, which is four points lower at 16.55 per cent.
With regard to the evolution of the labour market in Malaga province during the last quarter of 2017, there has been little change, according to the EPA.
The number of people registered as unemployed dropped by 900 and the number of people in work increased by 1,900, while the active population also increased by 1,000.