At the end of 2018, Donostia/San Sebastián presented the lowest unemployment rate of the three Basque capitals, with a figure of 8%, compared to 14.3% in Bilbao and 11.2% in Vitoria. This consolidates a decrease in the number of unemployed people that has been 28.8% in the last five years. In addition, the capital city of Gipuzkoa has experienced a significant increase in Social Security affiliations of 10.5%.

The Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Economic Development, Mr. Ernesto Gasco, pointed out that "in recent years, the economic recovery and the development of public policies in favour of employment have achieved a significant improvement in our labour market. Mr Gasco highlighted that economy and employment in San Sebastian is good compared to the rest of the Basque Country, although we must not forget that there is still much to be done. The Mayor's Office has promoted initiatives such as the DonostiaUp! plan, which has had a decisive economic endowment and very positive results in the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs each year.

Image: The Economic Development Councillor at Donostia/San Sebastian Mr. Ernesto Gasco, on the and Mr. Euken Sesé, Fomento San Sebastian manager (left to right).

Since 2012 San Sebastian has made great efforts to promote innovation and talent through the annual Economic Stimulus Plans (Donosti Up!), and data show the clear link between the local policies promoted and the reduction in the unemployment rate.

The Donostia UP! 2018 plan has a dedicated budget of 9.2 million euros leading to the implementation of a wide range measures in the medium and long term. Donostia UP! 2018 is a building block of the local strategy based on human capital, business competitiveness and territorial cohesion. This plan is committed to design policies and tools to attracting and retaining talent and boosting innovation, along with quality of employment and equality. Therefore, Donosti UP! is a key factor in the local innovative ecosystem building process.

"Unemployment has also been reduced”. The decrease has been continuous over the last five years: In 2014 the number of unemployed people in the city was 10,785 people, while 2018 ended with 7,678 people registered in the unemployment lists, which implies a decrease of 28.8%. According to data from 2018, the general scheme provides 83.4% of total employment in the city and is the largest increase in the period 2014-2018, with 12.7% more affiliation. 

The measures implemented with the Donosti UP! Plan, such as technical and financial support for creation of new companies, support for entrepreneurs, scholarships or other initiatives focused on access to first employment, have made possible the creation of an average of 1,000 jobs per year (more than 7.000 in total), the creation of more than 1.500 new companies, or the improvement of nearly 3.500 small and medium companies.

Image: Participants at the Donostia UP! 2018 'on the spot' at the Miramar Palace / City Hall, San Sebastián.

These good results are also possible because of the Plan´s Governance, that includes an annual revision with the main stakeholders of the city from the quadruple helix among , in order to identify and design the more impactful actions/programs to be implemented year by year, to keep fostering San Sebastian innovative ecosystem.

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