Employment grows by 776,478 between one December and another, to 19.82 million employed; never in Spain have there been so many people working
After a 2020 to forget, 2021 It has been a year not only of recovery, but of leaving behind and surpassing the records of job Y unemployment that Spain had before covid. During the previous year the working market a large part of the year was spent regenerating the jobs destroyed during the first three months of confinement, and in 2021, especially in the second half of the year, the job market has been accumulating record after record. Unemployment fell by 782,232 people during 2021, to 3.1 million unemployed; its lowest level since 2007, according to the data updated this Tuesday by the Government. In other words, Spain not only recovers the unemployment rates prior to the pandemic, but also the financial crisis; despite the fact that it continues to be one of the states of the European Union with higher levels of unemployment.
And employment has grown by 776,478 between one December and another, to 19.82 million employed. Never in Spain have there been so many people working. However, the ‘B-side’ behind these good macroeconomic data is the quality of some of the jobs created. Well, to create these 776,478 jobs, a total of 19.3 million contracts of work. The temporality, the highest in Europe, is one of the historical scourges of the Spanish labor market. The capacity of the newly agreed reform to reduce it will measure your success or failure. “We have a lot of confidence, a lot of faith that we can solve it definitively with the labor reform”, declared the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquin Perez Rey.
At the expense of how long the streak will be extended given the many threats that are looming over the economy -from the variant omicron, until the escalation of the inflation, going through the shortage of certain raw Materials-, employment closes the year with its highest gain in employed persons in the last three years. This December, despite the intense upturn in infections and the new restrictions adopted by the regional governments, employment has maintained its upward trend, demonstrating a resilience to the virus that was already evident in the summer during the fifth wave.
The ertes, which were a vital shield for the employment of up to 3.5 million workers During the harshest months of the pandemic, they have been reduced to residual levels. In December there was 102,548 employees affected for a suspension file and almost half were partially suspended. “A crisis in which the recovery is rapid has less long-term effects on the productive fabric and the workers themselves,” said the Secretary of State for Social Security, Israel Arroyo.
The hospitality industry continues to decline
Although employment exceeds pre-pandemic levels, not all sectors have better records than in 2019. The most obvious case is that of the hostelry, one of the lungs of the occupation in Spain and that has been especially affected by the restrictions during the last two years of the pandemic. December closed with new capacity limitations due to the advance of the omicron and with 1.2 million employees in the hotel industry, 62,422 less than during Christmas 2019. Another sector weighed down by the pandemic and with levels of Social Security affiliation by below the precovid period are the artistic and recreational activities, with 1.9% fewer employees.
Other sectors that are below their pre-covid levels, but for reasons not directly related to the virus, are financial activities. The vast majority of the main banking entities have accelerated their restructuring in recent months and practically none have not registered an ere. Which results in a loss of 2.4% of employment in the sector compared to 2019 data.
Catalonia closes the year with a note
Catalonia has closed the year with an increase in employment, something that has only happened in two December in all its recent history: 2020 and 2021. The pull of the occupation has lost its piston this last month, with a Christmas campaign in some sectors more discreet than expected before the advance of omicron. However, the Catalan labor market preserves the green numbers and closes the year with 3.5 million workers active; its best year in occupancy gain since 2005.
Catalonia has been the second autonomous community that has created the most employment, in absolute terms, in all of Spain, behind the Community of Madrid. Those that have created the most employment in relative terms have been Canary Islands (+ 6.4%) and Baleares (5.5%), which came from very negative records in the early stages of the pandemic due to their dependence on sightseeing.