NEW figures have revealed that the province of Cordoba has the highest unemployment levels in Spain.

The annual study from the Active Population Survey (EPA), was compiled using numbers from the National Statistics Institute (INE) before the COVID-19 shutdown.

Cordoba overtakes other poorly performing areas such as Cadiz, Jaen, Badajoz, Caseres and even the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

With a population of 785,240, almost one in four people are out of work, while women fare worse, with a worrying 28.8% without employment, compared to 21.65% of men.

Since 2012, Cordoba has experienced a spike in employment in the first quarter of the year, mainly due to a lengthened agricultural season and the lead-up to the holiday season beginning in April.

However in 2020, numbers have skyrocketed to 93,000, 16,000 more than 2019 and 5,400 more than final quarter 2019.

A worrying statistic to emerge from the study is that there are now 30,900 Cordoban households where all family members are unemployed.

The majority of the investigation was carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic, giving the study a more harrowing significance.

Cordoba relies heavily on seasonal agricultural and tourism work, both of which have been hit hard during Spain’s state of alarm, potentially spelling disaster for the local economy.

According to the figures, the areas worst affected however are the industrial and service sectors.

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