Work in Barcelona


Are you looking for a job in Barcelona? Here is an overview of the city's economy and labour market conditions. 

Barcelona in the Barcelona province is Spain's second largest city. It is also Catalonia's administrative and economic centre. Its population amounts to 1,6 million inhabitants, including a large number of expatriates, particularly from European countries. Barcelona is also one of the European Union's most densely populated cities while continuing to attract students, young professionals, as well as foreign investors from across the globe.

In fact, Barcelona is a land of opportunities for young professionals wishing to join its labour market. Local authorities have doubled their efforts over the past few years in order to make the labour market more dynamic and competitive.

Economy of Barcelona

Barcelona is Catalonia's most developed city and Spain's major economic centre. It has one of the country's biggest airports and one of the Mediterranean's main sea ports. Barcelona's economy is primarily based on the automotive field, services, industry, electronics, chemicals, textile, food and agriculture. Subsidiaries of automobile companies Nissan and Volkswagen, as well as other brands such as Mango, Decathlon, IBM, IT, and Carrefour are located in Barcelona.

Barcelona is also considered to be a Spanish investment haven. Local authorities, including the municipality of Barcelona, continuously invest in innovative projects in order to attract more foreign companies.

 Good to know:

Barcelona also hosts an innovative zone, including university campuses, research and training institutions, companies specialising in information technology and communication, design, and biomedicine.

Popularity with expats

Barcelona is a top destination for foreign professionals, especially thanks to its cost of living which remains affordable and lower than in many other major European cities. 

Labor market in Barcelona

Barcelona is known for being one of the cheapest Spanish cities. Hence, the unemployment rate is rather low compared to other cities. In the 3rd quarter of 2015, around 659,600 unemployed had been recorded in Barcelona, which is quite surprising as the number of job seekers had not gone beyond 700,000 since 2010. Unemployment rate, for the same period, turned around 17.2%.

 Good to know:

Despite its pleasant atmosphere and the vibrant lifestyle, Barcelona is also the city where salaries are the lowest.

However, foreigners are likely to be hired in various sectors such as the industrial, automotive, information and communication technology, research, chemicals, financial services fields, etc. Health care and education fields are also open to qualified and skilled foreigners.

A good command of other languages such as English and French can be a valuable asset although knowledge of Spanish is recommended. Note that Spanish and Catalan languages courses are provided free of charge at the town hall. You may be eligible following selection after submitting your application.

Spanish courses and Catalan are taught at the town hall for free on selection after submission of a dossier. For more information, contact the Ajuntament de Barcelona. Companies that are more open toward foreign expertise also provide Spanish courses to their new recruits. 

Find a job in Barcelona

You can start your job search by browsing job offers in Barcelona on the Internet and in classified ads in local newspapers. Public organisations such as the Servicio Publico de Empleo and foreign Chambers of commerce can also help. Consider sending spontaneous job applications to companies operating in the region, particularly if you are looking for an internship. Otherwise, you can seek help from a recruitment agency.

 Useful links: - Jobs in Barcelona
Linked In
Xpat Jobs
Barcelona Trabajos
Info Jobs
Ajuntament de Barcelona
Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona

Recommend Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
5 months ago

Great place to work :)


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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