The province of Malaga, including the Costa del Sol, bucked the national downward trend in the last quarter of 2019 with a rise in jobless figures compared to a year earlier. While in Spain overall there were 112,400 fewer out of work in 2019, a 3.4% fall, in Malaga province there was a rise of 10,800 in the same period.
The data is part of the EPA, a quarterly active population survey from the government. It is considered more complete than the monthly data from the Social Security department and is used by the European Union when comparing Spain with other countries.
In total there were 3,191,900 people in Spain inactive and available for work at the end of December, a rate of 13.8%. 139,800 people locally in Malaga province were out of work, a rate of 17.75%.
Malaga's poor performance is being blamed primarily on a drop in workers in the construction sector as well as, to a lesser extent, in the service sector. In contrast, employment in agriculture grew during the year.
On a regional level, Malaga province has the lowest percentage unemployment rate of the eight provinces in Andalucía. The regional average at then end of 2019 was 20.8%.