The EPA's second-quarter results show a labor market that is intensely accusing the negative effects of the Covid-19 crisis. In a historical situation of falling activity, employment has inevitably deteriorated. The difference with respect to the past is that the Spanish economy is capable of creating more employment in expansive times and better endures employment in periods of recession as a consequence of the possibilities of adaptation existing in the current labor framework in terms of internal flexibility.

However, the intensity of the crisis is being of such magnitude that not only must the measures already adopted be maintained over time, but it seems essential to intensify measures to support the labor market that provide adaptability, legal certainty and confidence to companies and investors, implemented through social dialogue, in a situation as exceptional as the one we are experiencing right now.

The number of employed persons has decreased by 1,074,000 people in the second quarter, which represents an unprecedented drop, due to mobility restrictions and the partial or total cessation of many economic activities during the period of confinement.

The employed figures also include workers affected by ERTEs. According to the EPA, the number of employed persons who have not worked in the reference week due to partial unemployment for technical or economic reasons or employment regulation record grew by 2,832,800 people in the second quarter. This reflects the significant impact on the level of employment in the short term of the measures of suspension of contracts and reduction of temporary working hours adopted by companies.

The paralysis of economic activity is seen significantly in the evolution of the number of hours per week actually worked, affected by the suspension of contracts and reductions in hours, which decreased by -22.59% compared to the first quarter. In fact, the number of employed persons who actually worked in the second quarter decreased to 13.9 million people, 35.14% of the population aged 16 and over.

The fall in employment in the second quarter has especially affected the private sector, which loses 1,052,000 jobs. Permanent employment falls by 361,400 people, while salaried workers with temporary contracts fall by 671,900 people. Employment decreases in all sectors, highlighting the drop of 816,900 people in services. In the interannual rate, employment decreased by -6.05%, so the total number of employed persons stood at 18,607,200 people.

The notable fall in employment has not been transferred to the unemployment figures, since the number of unemployed only increased by 55,000 people compared to the first quarter and the unemployment rate stood at 15.33% (14.41% previously ). These data do not yet reflect the current severity of the labor market since, as the INE points out, not all people who have lost their jobs have been classified as unemployed, but a considerable part has gone into inactivity.

In fact, the singular increase in the inactive population by 1,062,800 people and the decrease in the active population by 1,019,000 people is quite extraordinary. This increase in inactivity is going to be transitory for the most part, since this extraordinary context of restrictions on mobility and paralysis of activity has affected compliance with the requirements for job search or availability to work established by the EPA to be considered stopped.

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