The number of senior employees (over 55 years old) rose from 2.3 million to 4.1 million in 2022 in Spain, which represents an increase of 78%, while junior contributors (under 30 years old) fell from 4.6 million to 2.9 million (-37%) in the same period.
This is clear from the ‘III Senior Talent Map. Young and old in the labor market Intergenerational collaboration’, a report promoted by the Ageingnomics Research Center of the Mapfre Foundation in collaboration with the Mas Human Foundation According to this document, the difference in evolution between young and old working people “reveals a “silverization” of the labor market, suggesting that the senior group will be more decisive in the economy of Spain, and “this shows a trend that will continue to develop.”
In addition, he emphasized that “a senior economy means that many old people (and young people) will work and pay taxes, but above all, many Spaniards will benefit from being the best country in the world to age and create a whole industry of aging that will enable millions of people to come to our country.”
Also, it means that the participation of young people in the labor market has decreased significantly in recent years compared to older people. Currently, young people represent 16% of the total active population, and the elderly represent 20%.
In this sense, the report shows that there is a “deyouvenization” of the labor market as a result, among other factors, of demographic change, the migration of qualified workers, school failure, and the working conditions of this group.
The report highlights that the number of unemployed people under 30 years of age is double that of those over 55 years old. Young people represent 30% of the unemployed Spaniards, with nearly 900,000 unemployed, a figure that exceeds the elderly (16.4%), who are nearly half a million people (489,000).
However, even though the senior group has fewer unemployed people, youth unemployment is experiencing a decline, while the senior group is increasing. In the period from 2008 to 2022, there will be an increase of 300,000 unemployed seniors, while the junior group will have 153,000 unemployed young people.
Of course, long-term unemployment is worse for those over 55 years of age, as more than 50% of the elderly have been in this situation for two years or more, compared to young people, where half have been in it for less than six months.
“These data show the working difficulties that this group has because of age, as well as the incidence, still today, of occupational ageism in Spain, that is, a form of social discrimination about age that is specific and already affecting the elderly,” the study warned.
On the other hand, self-employment is more common among workers over 55 years of age than among young people. Therefore, while there are currently only 189,000 self-employed young people in Spain, there are 977,000 senior self-employed people.
“This situation occurs as a result of the fact that, at a certain age, self-employment and entrepreneurship can be options where the elderly can develop their special conditions and capabilities,” according to the analysis in the report.
About the activity sector, the “acute outsourcing” of the Spanish economy determines the strong concentration of employees in the service sector, both in seniors (77%) and in juniors (81%), according to the report.
The president of the Máshumano Foundation, Íñigo Sagardoy, participated in the presentation of the report, held this Tuesday at the Sagardoy Abogados auditorium; the director of the Agingnomics Research Center, Juan Fernández Palacios; and the deputy general director of Fundación Máshumano, Tomás Pereda. Rafael Puyol, Alfonso Jiménez, and Iñaki Ortega, co-authors of the research, also participated.
The opening of the event was done by the president of the Economic and Social Council (CES), Antón Costas, and the general director of the People and Organization of Mapfre, Elena Sanz.
The latter declared that “the current senior generation, with its culture of effort and savings, is also a real economic engine in terms of consumption and investment.” He also emphasized that “governments, companies, and institutions invest in the senior dividend because it means strengthening economic demand and, with it, the generation of work.”
Along these lines, Juan Fernández Palacios stated that “it is important to implement measures that promote the employment of those over 55 years of age and that combat the working age, thus avoiding the waste of senior talent that is happening now in Spain.”