During the first half of 2019, the number of foreign self-employed workers registered in the Special Scheme for Self-Employed Workers (RETA) increased by 16,842 entrepreneurs, which translates into a growth of + 5.2%, reaching the total figure of foreign freelancers in 343,027 people.
The entrepreneurial impulse of the foreign autonomous collective has been far superior to that of the RETA as a whole, and they grow at a rate almost five times higher than the total of the Special Scheme for Autonomous Workers (RETA): While the total of the group grows in the first half of 2019 at a rate of 1.1%, foreign self-employed people do so at a rate of 5.2%. Thus, of the 34,410 freelancers that the RETA adds a total of 24,442 are foreigners.
Despite this growth recorded in the first six months of 2019, it is a 30% lower than the one registered in the first half of 2018, when the number of foreign freelancers grew at a rate of 8.2%, with Social Security adding 24,442 foreign freelancers.
Thus, these data once again highlight the need to highlight the important role that the collective plays in the generation and recovery of autonomous employment. The RETA grows throughout the year driven by the growth of the foreign collective. The National Federation of Associations of Autonomous Workers, ATA, notes that they are very enterprising people and for whom self-employment has become an effective formula to enter the labor market.
Balearic Islands and Andalusia lead the growth of foreign freelancers in 2019
When analyzing the data by autonomous communities, it is verified as only Aragon loses foreign freelancers in the first half of the year, specifically 1,464 people less than in December 2018. The rest, if you add foreign-born entrepreneurs to Social Security.
In absolute terms the most autonomous communities in the first half of 2019 are Balearic Islands (+4,473 autonomous), Andalusia (+3,307 autonomous), Valencian Community (+2,860) and Catalonia (+2,402 autonomous). Thus, 77.4% of new foreign entrepreneurs launched their activity in one of these regions.
If we go down one level and analyze the data by provinces, the report prepared by the National Federation of Associations of Autonomous Workers, ATA, shows how Only four of the 50 Spanish provinces fail to grow in terms of the affiliation of foreign entrepreneurs so far this year: Zaragoza (-1,581), Girona (-310 freelancers), Cuenca (-181) and Ourense, with a loss of six freelancers.
On the contrary, the greatest growth, in addition to the Balearic Islands, are those registered by Barcelona (+1,922), Málaga (+1,702) and Alicante (+1,631).
Foreign entrepreneurs represent 10.4% of total freelancers
The report prepared by ATA shows how the group of foreign freelancers represents 10.4% of the total of registered freelancers in the RETA. This percentage varies greatly depending on the autonomous community. In the two archipelagos and in Melilla, the percentage of foreign self-employed persons over the total number of self-employed persons doubles the national percentage: they represent 23.9% of the total number of self-employed persons in the Balearic Islands, 19.1% in the Canary Islands and 22.2 % in the case of Melilla.
On the contrary, the communities of Extremadura (2.7%), Galicia (3.2%), Castilla y León and Asturias, both with 3.7% continue to be the regions where the autonomous group has less weight foreigners at the end of 2018.
Italian, British and Chinese, the most entrepreneurial nationalities of 2019
If we analyze the evolution of the collective based on nationality, we can see how we must talk about trend confirmation and banish false myths. In previous years we talked that it was almost exclusively Chinese citizens responsible for the growth of freelancers. Now it looks like many other nationalities are more entrepreneurial, especially European ones.
With the available figures we can confirm that Spain is a magnet for entrepreneurs from countries such as Italy, United Kingdom, Romania or China, who find a way of life in our territory and in entrepreneurship. Although it is also true that the Chinese, although they have slowed growth, remain the most numerous nationality, representing 16.9% of total foreign self-employed.
Thus, the largest increases of foreign freelancers in absolute values throughout the first half of 2019 were registered by entrepreneurs from Italy (+2,703 freelancers), United Kingdom (+1,964 freelancers) and China (+1,960).
Hospitality and commerce, key sectors in the growth of foreign freelancers in 2019
The growth of foreign autonomous women has been slightly higher than that registered by men: during the first half of 2019 the number of women entrepreneurs in other countries grew at a rate of 6.2% and men did it at 4.6%.
Despite this, men represent 55.8% of the new self-employed: of the 16,842 more self-employed in the RETA, 9,406 are men and 7,436 women.
By activity sectors, the report prepared by ATA reveals that only industry loses foreign freelancers in the first half of the year, specifically 5,521 less than in December 2018.
On the contrary, hospitality and commerce are the key sectors of the growth of freelancers: Social Security has 5,285 foreign entrepreneurs registered in hospitality and 4,367 in the commerce sector.