Malaga, located in the Andalusian region, is the Malaga province's capital city. It is known to be Spain's sixth largest city and Andalusia's second most important city with a population of 569,000 inhabitants. Being the region's cultural center, Malaga hosts thousands of foreigners seeking professional opportunities every year. However, it can be quite difficult for expatriates to find a job in Malaga due to its high unemployment (the area was quite affected by the 2008 economic downturn).
You should take the time to understand the economy and its labour market before moving there. To avoid being disappointed, make sure you have skills which are not available locally before starting your job search.
The economy of Malaga
Malaga has long been an industrial city, ranking fourth in economic activity in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Its economy has developed consequently over the years, including sectors such as services, construction, agriculture and food processing. Following the global economic crisis, tourism, hospitality, information and communications technology services, trade, transportation and logistics have tried to modernize the economy and are beginning to expand.
Malaga also has a developed transport network, including Spain’s third largest airport as well as ferry, inter-provincial and suburban trains, as well as a seaport, which is the second largest in Spain. Malaga is popular with foreign traders from Europe and North Africa and also facilitates trade along with fisheries, although it is a less attractive sector.
Malaga has been campaigning towards international promotion on a business level. Hosting the International Association of Science and Technology Parks, Málaga aims to become Europe’s “Silicon Valley” as a hi-tech economic centre and intends to attract international investors. It has seen considerable growth in new technology industries – mostly located in the Technological Park of Andalusia – and in the construction sector.
Good to know:
Malaga has been greatly affected by the world economic crisis. However, tourism has gradually given a new dynamism to its economy. To date, the city hosts many hotels, amusement parks, restaurants, and many other tourism infrastructures, as well as places of interest.
Labour market in Malaga
The unemployment rate in Malaga remains quite high (nearly 27%) although it is lower than in other cities of the Andalusia region. It can thus be quite difficult for expats to find a job there. However, jobs exist in some sectors, namely export, electronics, manufacturing of auto parts, food, ceramics production and cosmetics, etc. Tourism is also considered to be one of the region's leading job creators for its favourable location on the Costa del Sol.
In fact, tourism and service industries count as the main source of revenue with more than 65% of employment in these sectors.
Local authorities encourage the creation of more small and medium enterprises in order to increase export. In 2017, construction, tourism and service industries were deemed to be the most promising fields.
Good to know:
Labour conditions in Malaga were quite precarious in 2013. In fact, very few permanent employment contracts had been signed with the majority hired on fixed-term and part-time basis contracts. Although the local economy has been improving slowly, the labour market has not yet taken off, regardless of the sector.
Finding a job in Malaga
Foreigners may still be hired in certain sectors, namely tourism, trade, industry, information and communication technology and electronics, provided they have skills which are not available locally.
You can check out job offers in Malaga on the Internet and in the classified ads in local newspapers. It is advisable to send spontaneous applications to big companies operating in Malaga and engage in networking.