How many working Andalusians does it take to keep a fellow-countryman on the dole?

More than some people think.

The Pearly Gates to this year's Seville Fair. St Peter has nipped off for a sherry. <a href=''>CC from Wikimedia Commons</a>.

The Pearly Gates to this year's Seville Fair. St Peter has nipped off for a sherry. CC from Wikimedia Commons.

Some friends had a wonderful time at the Feria de Abril but came back amazed that for every person working in Sevilla there seemed to be another apparently able-bodied person doing nothing. I tested their hypothesis against the new INE unemployment stats, and in fact the ratio (final column) is slightly more than 2:1 in Andalusia, as against more than 5:1 in the Basque Country:

Is Andalusia more hard-working as a whole than the home of the regional administration? How many of the “employed” are only formally on the books, for social security or other reasons? Etc etc. Of course I haven’t got the faintest.

If Greece doesn’t cause the IMF to implode, they will presumably eventually turn their attention to Spain and we may discover interesting stuff like what happens to the figures if you include the substantial black economy, whereunder the intriguing practice of sharing fiscal numbers. I suspect that the picture won’t be be vastly different–grosso modo Madrid is your best bet (the Basque Country trails even Andalusia on employment-to-population), and stay the hell away from Extremadura.

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Last updated 30/04/2010

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Andalusia (153):

Aragon (74):

Balearics (1):

Basque Country (5): Basque Country may refer to: Basque Country, an autonomous community of Spain Basque Country, the approximate cultural area of the Basque people, culture and language Northern Basque Country or French Basque Country, the three northern provinces in France Southern Basque Country, the Basque provinces in Spain i.e.

Canary Islands (2): The Canary Islands also known as the Canaries, are an archipelago and autonomous community of Spain located on the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest.

Cantabria (5): Cantabria is a historic Spanish community and autonomous community with Santander as its capital city.

Catalonia (1131):

Employment (4):

Extremadura (2): Extremadurastɾemaˈðuɾa]; Extremaduran: Estremaúra [eʰtːɾemäˈuɾä]; Fala: Extremaúra; Portuguese: Estremadura) is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura.

Galicia (72):

INE (1): INE, Ine or ine may refer to:

Kaleboel (4331):

Labour force statistics (1):

Madrid (156):

Natural history (512): Natural history is the research and study of organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study.

Navarre (3): Navarre; officially the Chartered Community of Navarre, is an autonomous community and province in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Autonomous Community, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Nouvelle-Aquitaine in France.

Recession (9):

Seville (31):

Spain (1835):

Unemployment (5):

Valencia (22):


  1. A Catalan founded the Feria de Abril that is the best event in Seville. It is a disaster that the Andalusians are now running Catalunya.

  2. So what happened to all those Catalan merchants who thronged through the country after 1714? And isn’t it true that the decline of Catalonia vis-à-vis Madrid dates from long before Montilla, as well as long after Franco?

  3. Please note unemployment rate is only below 15% in:
    – Basque Country & Navarra (which have Concierto Economico)
    – Cantabria (which receives an unjustified amount of funds from the net givers – Catalonia, Balears, Madrid – even when its distance to the mean is not dramatic – as would be the case of Andalusia & Extremadura)

  4. So you too would like the removal of crazy medieval shit like the Concierto Económico, so that Basques and Navarrans will pay taxes on the same basis as other Spanish citizens? The massive cuts in public spending that the government (or the IMF on its behalf) will have to announce soon will have to involve radical pruning of the duplicative bureaucracy that has grown up in the autonomies, and I can’t think of a better place to start than this. Not just now, anyway.

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