Number of immigrants grew by 7.1% in Spain in 2009
The number of immigrants living in Spain grew by 300,000 last year. This is equivalent to 7.1% and is the lowest figure since 1992 according to information provided this week by Consuelo Rumí, the Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration.
Rumí said that the number of immigrants coming to Spain had gone down by 17% since 2000 – in 2001 the number of immigrants in Spain grew by 23.8% whereas the figure for 2009 is just 7.1%.
The Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration also said that the number of new contracts for immigrant workers had gone down considerably too. Last year there were just 20,000 new work contracts for immigrants compared to 180,000 in 2008 and 250,000 in 2007.
As far as illegal immigration is concerned this also went down by more than 50%. Rumi said that there were more than 50% fewer immigrants arriving illegally by boat compared to 2000.
Rumí said that these figures showed that Spain had completed its first migratory cycle and was now in transition towards a second cycle characterized by the reduction in the number of immigrants arriving and the specialization of new workers which would require determined policies of integration.
Nevertheless, Rumí said that immigrants were still needed in Spain because in her opinion ‘a society which since the seventies decided not to have children or to have a reduced number of children was also deciding that in the future it would need to incorporate a large number of immigrants if it wanted its economy to grow’.
Rumí said that between 2001 and 2005 immigrants occupied 52% of all the jobs created and in 2006 nearly 60% of the 767,000 new jobs would have been left unoccupied without the 450,000 immigrants who came to live and work in Spain that year.
With regards to the current economic crisis the Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration said that unemployment for immigrants is far higher than the national average. She also went on to say that the labour market for immigrant workers could now be at an end.