The city achieved historic results in figures for Social Security registration, technology-sector jobs and exports.
Barcelona City Council recently published a report entitled Barcelona’s economy: indicators and trends, describing the development of the city’s economy last year.
The study highlights that the year-on-year growth of Barcelona’s GDP was 5.1% during the third quarter of 2022, a higher figure than in the rest of Catalonia (+4.3%), Spain (+4.4%) and the EU (+2.4%). According to the report, the city’s GDP reached the level of activity recorded for 2019.
In addition, Barcelona closed the month of December with 1.18 million new people registered with Social Security, representing a 3.4% increase on the previous year. This is the highest figure ever recorded for December in the entire historical series.
The lowest level of unemployment in 15 years
The city’s labour market set another record and recorded the lowest level of unemployment during these last 15 years: 61,436 people at the end of December. Unemployment dropped by 3.1% compared to 2021.
It is also worth pointing out a third off-the-charts result: that of permanent employment contracts, whose number rose by 153.9% following the Spanish State’s labour reform. In other words, 40.8% of the new contracts signed in Barcelona were permanent ones, compared to 14% in 2019.
Employment is being consolidated in the strategic sectors
During 2022, the Barcelona labour market showed remarkable dynamism in the ICT, tourism and creative sectors, with year-on-year variations in Social Security registration clearly higher than in other city sectors.
More specifically, ICTs saw a 13.5% rise in the number of registered workers. The sector has created 47,754 jobs since 2011, representing an accumulated increase of 139.6% and making it a clear driver of job creation in the city.
Commerce is another sector that saw a substantial improvement. Barcelona’s commercial recovery in December 2022 was positioned at 120.5, taking 2019 as the 100 value. All the city’s districts achieved spending in excess of the pre-pandemic period, especially those of Nou Barris, Horta-Guinardó and Gràcia, which recorded the highest values.
The city’s international role
The report also presents foreign trade indicators and points out that the Barcelona province continued to lead the export ranking with 18.8% of the Spanish State’s total exports. Exports from the Barcelona area between January and November 2022 achieved values in excess of 67,161 million euros and a year-on-year growth of 18.7%.
Finally, the report also highlights the city’s good global positioning with the Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities ranking for 2023, putting Barcelona in sixth place among the world’s most attractive cities for visitors, entrepreneurs and residents. The Catalan capital gained three places compared to 2021, proof of its good international image.