Sunday, June 4, 2023

Less temporary, younger, collapse of self-employed and other details of the progress of employment

In the first quarter of the year the Spanish labor market has lost 100,200 workers, but are they many or few? In addition, the start of the year, with the entry into force of the labor reform, has brought good news for the quality of employment with a vigorous decrease in temporary employment; there are also more employed young people and there has been a strong loss of self-employment. Between January and March, foreigners have done better than Spaniards and men than women in terms of employment. This is a summary of some lesser-known questions from the Active Population Survey (EPA) published today, which are detailed below.

How has employment been between January and March?

At first glance, the destruction of employment in full recovery of the labor market –specifically 100,200 fewer workers– may seem like a slowdown, but if the usual behavior in the first quarters of the year is observed, it is observed that it is normal for jobs to be destroyed of work, even with recoveries in progress. This has been the case, for example, since 2014, the year in which the recovery of employment began after the previous economic crisis. That year 184,600 employed were lost in the first quarter. Making this comparison with more recent years, just before the pandemic broke out, in 2019, the drop in employment in those months was slightly lower, of 93,500 people; but in 2018, it was higher: 124,200. In fact, in seasonally adjusted terms, the number of employed persons grew by 1.08% in the quarter.

Likewise, taking the average between 2014 and 2021 and excluding the year of the pandemic (2020), the average fall in employment in the first quarter of the year is 112,647 people, which places the 2022 cut in the medium range, taking into account also note that this year the first quarter did not include Easter and in some of the years taken to make this average it did. In short, there is no brake on job creation as such.

Another thing is what has happened with unemployment, which as a result of the also decrease in the active population, has experienced a greater rise at the start of 2022, with 70,900 more unemployed compared to an average of 8,500 in the first quarters of the year in the same period 2014-2022, not counting the year of the pandemic.

However, and despite the fact that the economy as a whole presents a level of employment higher than that registered before the crisis (117,800 more people), the private sector has not yet recovered the employment levels of the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the outbreak of the pandemic, with 97,100 people below the levels registered at the end of 2019. In contrast, in the public sector there are 214,900 more employed than in the last quarter of that year.

What has indeed registered an improvement is the number of hours worked by all employed persons, which have risen to 646.84 million effective weekly hours, which meant exceeding for the first time since the Covid pandemic broke out in March 2020 the pre-crisis level of the last quarter of 2019, when 639,961 million hours were worked. This points to a possible improvement in production (there are fewer workers but they work longer hours).

The good news: drop in temporality

Probably the decrease in the temporary rate from 25.3% with which it closed 2021 to 24.2% between January and March 2022 is one of the best news that this edition of the EPA includes. The entry into force of the labor reform, although not fully, because the new conditions and limits to temporary hiring have not been fully applied until March 31, is already reflected, for good, in the statistics. In fact, the Social Security affiliation and registered unemployment figures for these first three months already anticipated this good performance of permanent employment.

Thus, the net balance reflects that all the employment destroyed in the first quarter would have been temporary (209,800 temporary employees less than in the fourth quarter of 2021) while 164,100 more employees with a permanent contract have been accounted for.

However, there is another piece of information regarding the quality of employment that is not so positive. This is the strong destruction of full-time employment, with 171,500 fewer jobs in the quarter compared to the previous one, compared to a part-time job creation of 71,300 personnel. This means that, in net terms, all of the job cuts in the quarter were in full-time employment, of a better quality than part-time.

Self-employed collapse

Of the more than 100,000 jobs lost in the first quarter of 2022, more than half (55,700) corresponded to self-employed workers, compared to a drop of 45,800 wage earners. This represents a sharp cut in employment among the self-employed of 1.7% in a single quarter, something that is not usual either. The most affected group has been that of entrepreneurs without employees, with 25,600 less self-employed; it is followed by those who are employers and have workers in their charge, which have decreased by 14,500 in the first quarter. But the most striking data is that of the disappearance of 15,600 workers registered as family assistance, which represents a destruction of 20% of this group in a single quarter.

Better news for foreigners and young people

Despite the destruction of jobs and increased unemployment, there are two groups that have fared better, or at least not so badly. In the first case, there are foreigners and younger and more senior workers. Thus, the balance of the figures known today indicate that in the first quarter a little more than 123,800 jobs occupied by workers of Spanish nationality have been destroyed, while 23,600 positions occupied by foreigners have been created (hence, 100,200 have been clearly lost). .

Employment has also been created among the youngest. Specifically, there are 40,300 people under 24 years of age who are employed more than in the last quarter of 2021 compared to a sharp cut of 138,700 jobs held by workers between 35 and 44 years of age. Another significant drop in employment between 50 and 54 years of age was also observed, a group that lost almost 28,000 workers in the quarter.

Although analyzing this behavior of employment by age, the most striking data could be found in what has happened with the group over 55 years of age, where 21,700 jobs held by men have been lost, while 24,100 have been gained, held by men. women. This leaves a net balance of 2,400 more employed among the most senior.

However, looking at all ages, between January and March employment performed worse among women, who reduced their presence in the labor market by 60,600 compared to a decrease of 39,600 men.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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