Eighty per cent of companies in Malaga are in the services sector. / francis silva

Malaga creates more companies and jobs than anywhere else in Andalucía

The province recorded the largest regional increases in a year in terms of the number of companies and workers, but more than half of these businesses have only one or two employees

ANTONIO JAVIER LÓPEZ Malaga

There is a good reason why Malaga is nicknamed the economic powerhouse of Andalucía. The most recent data from the Andalusian Institute of Statistics and Cartography (IECA) shows that the province creates more companies and jobs than any other in the region.

The figures show that in one year – from June 2021 to June 2022 – the number of companies in Malaga grew by 4% to 56,790. The average in Andalucía during that period was 2%, to a total of 242,526. By province, Almeria, Cadiz and Sevilla matched the regional average, while in Cordoba, Granada, Huelva and Jaén the number of companies rose by 1%.

The statistics also serve as a reminder that Malaga is emerging as an economic giant in Andalucía, but this is founded on large numbers of small companies. Just over half (53.11%) have one or two employees and 85% have fewer than ten staff.

“The companies in Malaga are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, and that’s why business organisations believe support instruments are needed to enable them to grow, make them more competitive and able to generate more jobs,” said Natalia Sánchez, the executive vice-president and general secretary of the Malaga Business Confederation (CEM).

Fernando Cubillo, the provincial secretary of the CC OO union, agreed: “There is a lot of dynamism in business in Malaga, but the majority of companies are in a very vulnerable situation. It is good news that more companies are being created, but we must not lose sight of the fact that many close down as others open,” he said.

A matter of size

Cubillo also pointed out that the ratio of workers per company remains at six, and 80% of people who are self-employed and registered as a company have no staff at all. “That is why the business network in Malaga is very vulnerable,” he said. -

He attributes that vulnerability to seasonal tourism and the reliance on tourism and the services sector. In fact, the IECA statistics show that nearly 80% of companies registered with Social Security in Malaga are in the services sector, especially retail and hospitality. Those are the busiest, followed at a considerable distance by construction.

Hospitality, commerce and construction. These are the classics, still, on the Malaga business menu.