Unemployment data in 2020 make it necessary to expand ERTEs and the cessation of activity of self-employed workers to maintain activity and employment

The data on Social Security affiliation and unemployment made public today, corresponding to a traditionally positive month for employment due to the Christmas season, are clearly negative and reflect the harshness of the impact of the pandemic on economic activity and employment in our country. country, both in December and in the year 2020 as a whole.

Thus, unemployment rises by almost 37,000 people, compared to the continued decline in this month since 2012. The increase is mainly due to the growth of unemployment in the service sector, with 8,134 more unemployed, which contrasts with the usual falls in December, which adds to the increase also in construction and industry.

In this way, unemployment has increased in 2020 by 724,532 people, with a clear impact on young people and women, and stands at 3,888,137 people, although exceeding four and a half million -4,532,557- if we count the excluded from the official lists because they are taking training courses or are job seekers with "limited availability" or "specific job demand".

To this is added that the number of people who remain in ERTE as of December 31 stands at more than 755,500 employed persons, of which almost one in two are concentrated in hospitality (accommodation services and food and beverages), with close to 353,000 workers in temporary suspension of contract or reduction of working hours. Hence the concern also about the uneven recovery of the different sectors of activity and the critical situation that, as the data reveal, some of them are going through, whose exit from the crisis seems impossible until the health situation stabilizes.

On the other hand, the symbolic increase in membership by 7,350 people in seasonally adjusted terms falls mainly on health activities and social services, strongly conditioned by the activities most in demand in the pandemic. In this way, the number of affiliates slightly exceeds 19 million, -19,048,433-, having fallen by more than 360,000 people in 2020.

In any case, the facts are showing that the ERTEs and the cessation of activity of the self-employed are helping to alleviate the destruction of the productive fabric and employment, so it is urgent to give certainty and confidence to companies and workers through continuity of these protection and support measures, agreed with the social partners, adapting them in terms and conditions and simplifying procedures.

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