In the Spanish constitution in paragraph I, chapter II, article 35 it says: “1. All Spaniards are obliged to work and have the right to find work, and to choose their profession liberally. They have the right to progress professionally and to get enough salary for it to be able to maintain themselves and their family. In the search of work no discrimination of any kind is permitted.”
In the last years the different Governments not just did not stop the speculation in the real estate sector they also pretended that to buy a house would be a good business and should be the ultimate goal for every Spaniard. Because of the missing export industry the mentioned sectors were strongly affected by the recession. One third of the jobs were destroyed in the construction sector. As a consequence of the rising unemployment families had less income, less to spend and therefore the whole economy got affected and the society as a whole.
Basic indicators of employment in Spain
- Number of habitants: 47.265.321 people (2012)
- Population density: 93 habitants por Km2.
- GDP per capita: 23.054€ per habitant and year; Average UE-27: 25.200€
- Minimum wage: 752,85 Euros gross/month
- Unemployment rate: 26,7% (march 2013)
The Spanish population has grown enormously from 2002 (41.8 mill.) to 2012 (47.3 mill.). This was mainly due to immigration of workers from the UE and outside the UE. The immigration flow did not stop until 2012, when for the first time there was a descent in the Register (Padrón Continuo) dated on the 01.01.2013 (-205.788 persons).
General Economic situation
In 2012 the Spanish economy enters into recession, the GDP is reduced by 1,4%. In the last third of the year it fell by -0,8%. Apart from the national crisis Spain suffers from European crisis.
Development of the active population throughout 2012
In 2011 the active population was reduced by 850.500 persons (-4,78%) reaching 16.957.100 people with a job. In 2012 the number of unemployed increased by 691.700 persons (+13,2%) which meant 5.965.400 people without a work (unemployment rate: 26,2%). While the number of women in the labour market grows the number of young people with a job is reduced enormously in these years. In 2012 just 41 % of this segment works, beside unemployment a lot of them starts studying or just retires from the labour market. In 2008 still 55% were working.
The growth of unemployment
In 2012 the number of unemployment grew by 691.700 persons to 5.965.400 which meant 26% of the active population were jobless. Comparing the different regiones the highest rate of unemployment were found in the Canarian Islands, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura and Andalucía with more than 30%. The Basque Country in contrary ist the region were the less persons are without a job. Currently the jobless rate is at 20 percent.
The young people suffer the most from unemployment in Spain. The group of under 25 years is increasing from month to month. Many of the unemployed are forced to find work outside Spain. The rate has reached more than 70% among the teenagers between 16 and 19 years old. Because of the emigration of many of them the youth unemployment rate is currently not growing anymore.
The crisis show the less people are educated more difficult it is to find work, the unemployment rate grew from 14% in 2008 to 39% in 2012.
A consequence to the growing unemployment some people chose to become entrepreneurs or free lance workers. In 2012 this segment returns to the number of people before the crisis. About three million persons work for their own account. In the meantime the fixed contract situation in private company has been reduced from 14 Mio. in 2008 to 11,1 Mio. in 2012. In the public sector the number of employees starts falling from 2011.
Not just in the last ten years, already since the Eighties the Spanish labour market suffers a high number of temporal contracts, around 30%. Just from 2010 on the tendance changes. The number of stable contracts decreases, but is not replaced by temporal ones so that in the end the importance of temporal work is less tan some years ago. But there are studies that the shadow economy has grown enormously and with it not registered employment.
In Spain the parttime work never has been very popular among employers, but with the crisis it went up from 12% (2008) to 15% (2012). It grew especially among men and not among women like in other countries. But of course a quarter of all the women working has got a reduced working day in Spain to combine her job with the family.
After years of inflation in 2012 Spain has to reduce salaries for the first time on a net base. Especially affected is the service sector who suffers the crisis the most. In 2017 the situation seems to continue rough, although the economy is growing again, it will take time to turn around the Spanish labour market.
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