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Work in Catalonia


Catalonia is one of Spain's biggest and most important autonomous communities with a population of more than 7.5 million inhabitants and more than 15% of those being expatriates. It has long been an economic power on its own, and finding a job should be easier than in most parts of Spain. Jobs are available in various fields as the unemployment rate has gone down to 14.6% in 2016.

You should definitely take the time to understand its economy and its labour market requirements before starting your job search. Make sure you have appropriate skills and thus become a valuable asset for the local economy. 

 Good to know:

Work experience, good professional qualifications and language skills are valued assets to help you get a job. Initially, you may not need to speak Spanish, but knowledge of the language will definitely help to find employment (in addition to other modern European languages). Build a network – it’s often down to who you know to get a job!

Economy of Catalonia

Catalonia's economy is surprisingly dynamic despite the global economic crisis effects. Indeed, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3.4% in 2016, contributing 18,9% of Spain’s overall GDP; thus making Catalonia the most prosperous region in Spain. In fact, Catalonia's economy is mainly driven by industry, including food production, electronics, chemicals, automotive manufacturing, aerospace, textiles as well as agriculture. You are also likely to find many small and medium sized enterprises. 

Service sectors and construction also make a significant contribution to the region's GDP. In fact, the services sector accounts for more than 81.3% of Catalonia's economic activity while industry accounts for 6.3%. As regards the construction field, it accounts for some 12.5% of the region's economic activity. Note that local authorities greatly encourage the creation of small and medium sized enterprises.

Over the years, tourism has become embedded among Catalonia's main economic pillars, being one of Spain's most visited regions. Tourist arrivals exceeded 18 million in 2016.

Catalonia's labour market

Unemployment rate in Catalonia stood at 17.5% in 2015 against 24% in the whole of Spain, being the highest in Europe. In fact, the region had 659,600 registered job seekers. But expatriates can still be hired in particular fields such as industry, trade, services, tourism, health, food, etc., given the decline in unemployment rate. 

 Good to know:

Medical specialists, care-giving, nursing, accounting, management, teaching, driving and administrative secretaries are the most sought after jobs in Catalonia. On the other hand, expatriates with strong language skills are more likely to be hired.

Find a job

Full-time, part time and contract jobs are available in Catalonia. If you are already on the spot, you can start by registering with a recruitment agency. You may also check out job offers on the internet and classified ads in local newspapers.

Barcelona definitely holds the majority of job opportunities and most companies publish job offers via LinkedIn, Infojobs or use recruiting agencies such as Michel Page, Talent Search People,etc.

 Useful links:

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See also

Sevilla's economy was badly affected by the 2008 economic crisis and many people remain unemployed. However it is possible for expats to find work.
Although Malaga was affected by the 2008 economic crisis, expats can still find a job. However, there is a high level of unemployment.
European Union citizens are free to set up a business in Spain. However, non-European citizens have to obtain a resident card before proceeding.
Spain's unemployment rate remains the highest in Europe, although it has been declining during recent years. Hence, expats are likely to find a job there.
Tenerife Island and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, its capital city, are known to be tourist destinations. But there are also jobs opportunities in many fields.

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