One of the words spoken most often by politicians as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been ‘resilience’. The dictionary says this is a person’s psychological ability to recover from traumatic circumstances, and if there is one thing that Malaga can boast about – with due caution, of course – is the resilience of its economy. Despite the health crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, galloping inflation and the uncertainty in general, every new statistic regarding economic activity in the province invites a cautious optimism.
Official figures published today, Tuesday 10 May, and referring to the end of April, show that Malaga has more companies and more workers registered with Social Security than before the pandemic. There are now 56,478 companies and 473,831 workers in the province, compared with 55,929 and 436,896 in February 2020, the month before the first state of alarm was declared. In April that year, an economic depression began and the number of companies in Malaga dropped to 49,764.
Looking back just one year, the gradual economic recovery in the province was looking favourable and at the end of April 2021 there were 3,564 companies and 59,895 registered workers. As is usually the case, the recovery was driven by the services sector, where the number of employees has risen by 16% and the number of companies by 8% compared with a year ago.
The next sector to show some recovery was construction, with a 6% increase in companies, followed by industry with a timid 1%, while agriculture has lost 4% of its companies in the past year. The primary sector has fewer companies but more workers than a year ago, as their number has risen by 840 (an 8% annual increase), which is higher than that of construction (7%) and industry (6%).
And, not forgetting all the signs to remind us that we have to be cautious in a situation as uncertain as this one, the statistics from the Ministry of Work show an even more positive outlook: Malaga has more registered workers now than it has had since January 2013 (when the Ministry website began to feature these), and the 56,479 companies is the highest number since June 2019, when there were 56,980.