The economy of Candelaria is based around SMEs, with the vast majority of businesses being small (below 50 employees) or micro (below 10 employees).
There are 760 registered companies in Candelaria, with the majority operating in the services sector; 41% of businesses are in the retail sector and 22% in the restaurants and bars sector. In the industrial area, covering three municipalities, there are 55 companies, representing 7% of the total. Candelaria City Council wants to promote the creation of innovative companies, especially technologybased, through the creation of a technology centre that will house a business incubator, offering to newly created enterprises, facilities and services associated with the Centre.
Candelaria has experienced a fluctuating labour market in recent years around levels of unemployment. In June 2014, the proportion of working age people unemployed stood at 14.53%. This increased to 14.72% in February 2015, before falling to 13.19% in December 2015. This means over 2500 residents of Candelaria are unemployed at present, with women more likely to be unemployed than men. Demand for employment is particularly high in service sectors, meaning a degree of need for residents of Candelaria to work elsewhere on the island.