Stretching over some 7,234 km², the Basque Country is one of Spain's autonomous communities. It is divided into three territories, namely Álava, Gipuzkoa and Biscay with a population of almost 2.2 million inhabitants. Among all the major Spanish areas and cities, the Basque Country receives a large number of visitors and expatriates every year, especially due to its shared borders with France.
The Basque Country has its own economic, fiscal, educational and industrial structures. Hence, it attracts young professionals seeking job opportunities, as well as foreign investors.
Good to know:
Biscay is the Basque Country's most densely populated region followed by Gipuzkoa and Álava. Moreover, in 2016, almost 9% of the Basque population was of foreign origin, most of which come from Latin America, followed by EU-countries and North Africa.
The economy of the Basque Country
The Basque Country is considered to be an economic power in itself as it has one of the most developed Spanish economies despite the world economic crisis, thus making it one of the most important Spanish regions after Madrid and Catalonia, with a continuously growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.9% in late 2016. In fact, the Basque Country is home to one of the most prosperous European Union cities. Bilbao for its part is known to be the region's financial and economic centre, hosting the Bilbao Stock Exchange as well as several Spanish and European banks.
Industry, services, trade, tourism, construction, agriculture and fishing are the region's main economic pillars. Industry, on its own, makes about 30% contribution to the Basque GDP especially since local authorities are encouraging more foreign investment in the region. Steel, textile, aviation, automotive, medical, pharmaceutical and crafts are the main industrial fields.
Over the years, tourism has also become one of the main economic pillars, not only for its famous tourist areas such as San Sebastian, Bilbao, Pamplona, etc., but also for its tourist facilities and various leisure activities. Fisheries and agriculture are also quite active despite modernization. In fact, the region owes its fame to the cultivation of corn and vines, apples and cherries, as well as for the production of wine, cheese and many bio products.
The Basque Country's labour market
The unemployment rate is lower than the Spanish average and, by the end of 2016, the region had about 126,000 unemployed. The Basque Country's labor market is quite open to local and foreign manpower compared to other Spanish regions. Most jobs available are in industry, construction, trade and services fields. Those having strong language skills are more likely to be hired in the tourism, hospitality and catering fields.
Good to know:
Some 49% of Basque companies do not require foreign expertise. However, companies like Grupo Arteche, Aernova, Euskaltel, Gamesa, Iberdrola, Ibermática, Mondragón Corporación, Sener, etc, often require qualified and skilled manpower.
Basque citizens, for their part, are mostly hired in the metallurgy, food, agriculture, livestock and construction fields.
How to find a job
Consider sending spontaneous job applications to major companies operating in the region. You can also browse job offers on the internet and in classified ads in local newspapers.
Note that highly qualified professionals (post-doctoral researchers, for instance) are the most welcome in the Basque Country.
Basque Country Employment Service www.lanbide.net
Opcion Empleo www.opcionempleo.com
Mil Anuncios www.milanuncios.com
Accion Trabajo acciontrabajo.es
Tip Top Job www.tiptopjob.com