• The EPA for the fourth quarter confirms the rise in employment, despite the new restrictions and driven by the Christmas campaign

The Active Population Survey (EPA) of fourth trimester of 2021 shows that the consolidated recovery of the working market of the covid crisis. Spain already has fewer unemployed and more unemployed not only than before the pandemic, but also before the Great Recession. However, the figures also show that employment in several respects remains uncertain or absent for significant sections of the population. With worrying indicators in unemployment long-term, households with all its members without work or high and growing rates of temporary employment. These are the five keys to the data published by the National Institute of Statistics this Thursday (OTHER).

Employment: Spain exceeds 20 million in employment

The working market Spanish consolidated the symbolic figure of 20 million active workers this fourth quarter. Since before the outbreak of the previous financial crisis, in 2008, there were not so many people working in Spain. The services sector was the driving force behind this growth, reinforced by the cessation of restrictions on some of its activities. Although Spain regained the work volumes before the coronavirus, this was not the case in terms of hours worked. That is, there are more employees, but the activity and effective working hours they perform are generally lower. Synonymous with the fact that the economy is still not at the same levels as before the virus. The data published this Thursday shows that effective working hours are on the rise, but it is still 3.8% lower than at the end of 2019.

4 out of 10 newly employed are temporary

The fine print behind those 840,600 new jobs created throughout the year is that four out of 10 new wage earners a temporary agreement. The high rates of temporary employment still characterize employment in Spain, and are the highest in Europe, affecting one in four wage earners (25.4%). Although temporary employment decreased during the Covid crisis and is currently lower than in the last quarter of 2019 (26.1%), it is still the highest in the European Union. And it occurs especially among the youngest, to the point that the 55.4% of those under 30 have a temporary contract.

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Historical decline in unemployment, but not chronic

The unemployment returned to the 2008 box at the end of 2021, with a reduction in unemployment of 616 000 people in the last 12 months, to a total of 3.1 million unemployed. Or a rate 13.3%. This is the lowest level in the last decade, since before the Great Recession. And the decline was evenly matched between men and women, which corrected the gap (to their detriment) produced during the first months of covid. However, long-term unemployment and the number of households with all their members unemployed continue at levels much higher than those of 10 years ago, despite the fact that it has improved in recent months. In Spain there are 1.09 million homes in which all its members have no job and half do not enter any income.

Catalonia leads the fall in unemployment

Catalonia Over the past year, it has followed the growth line marked at the level of the whole of Spain and this 2021 was the area that led to the decline in unemployment, above Madrid and Andalusia. It has been reduced by 142,500 people in the past year, to a total of 395,400 unemployed across Catalonia. What does the Catalan unemployment rate in the 10.2%, three points below the Spanish.

At the level of employment, the Catalan provinces also held ‘top’ positions. In the fourth quarter of 2020, it created 157,500 new jobs, for a total of 3.49 million active Catalans. This is its highest level of employment since 2008. Catalonia has created 1.5 times more jobs than the Community of Madrid, the state’s other major economic locomotive. And it is that Catalonia was the second autonomy that created the most jobs, surpassed only by Andalusia. In relative terms, the Canary Islands were the region with the most jobs in 2021.

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Related news

Telework stabilizes, overtime increases

The telecom stopped its downward trend during this last quarter of the year, after returning to the office operations carried out by many companies in the preceding months. Currently the 7.9% of those employed, about 1.5 million, work more than half of the days of the week away from home. A proportion that has declined in recent months, from the peak of 16.2% reached during the second quarter of 2020. Although it is still significantly higher than the levels of telework before covid, when only 4.8% of working people usually teleport.

The overtime, for their part, is soaring and exceeding the levels of 2019. Despite the fact that there are generally fewer hours worked in Spain than there were before covid, activity is being launched in certain sectors and the extension of the working day has increased. At the end of the year, 6.3 million overtime hours were worked per week; compared to the millions worked in 2019. Of all the overtime hours performed, companies did not pay 45% of it.


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