Spain finally exceeds 20 million workers with a record of permanent contracts

A construction worker. / photo: FILE | video:ep

Holy Week boosts the labor market with 184,500 more affiliates and a decrease in unemployment of more than 86,000 people, although unemployment does not manage to fall below the barrier of three million

Record April. For the first time in the history of Spain, Social Security reaches 20 million affiliates, a goal that the former Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, had set for 2019, which is why it is achieved four years late, after a pandemic that suddenly destroyed almost a million jobs and in the middle of a war that is driving prices to record levels not seen for more than three decades.

But the labor market, against all odds, is showing a resilience in times of crisis that no one could imagine a short time ago and has continued to create jobs at a very good pace. Thus, if spring is usually a good time for it, this year has not disappointed, also helped by the pull of Holy Week, which brought tourism to levels of activity similar to those before the pandemic. 184,577 new jobs have been generated, the third best figure for April, in line with the average of the years prior to the pandemic, and unemployment has been reduced by more than 86,000 people, better figures than the two years of the pandemic but slightly below those of the three years preceding the coronavirus, according to data published this Wednesday by the Ministry of Social Security and Labor.

But not only that, but also April will go down in history as the month in which practically half of the new contracts that have been signed will remain stable over time: a total of 698,646 permanent contracts have been registered, the highest figure in the historical series. The effects of the labor reform are strongly felt in its first month of full application and permanent contracts have increased notably: if the usual thing was that it did not even reach 10%, as was the case last December, in January they rose to 15%, in February to 22%, in March to 31% and in April they exceed 48%. Furthermore, this has been the case in all sectors, in all autonomous communities, in all age groups and both among men and women.

This has allowed the total volume of permanent workers to rise to 77% of all contributors, six points more than is usual in the months of April. At the same time, the substantial reduction in very short-term contracts is accentuated: in April of previous years, three out of four contracts signed had a duration of between one and seven days and last month they were one in four.

The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, celebrated these good data and specified that it represents a “change in the paradigm of the labor market in our country”. "We are Europeans and seasonal sectors are also compatible with job stability," she applauded.

Almost a million affiliates in a year

And all while employment has reached a creation rate of 5%, which has allowed it to add almost one million contributors in the last year (963,782). This has allowed Social Security to close the month with a record number of 20,019,080 affiliates and even exceeded 20.1 million for three days in April.

However, the number of unemployed has been on the verge of falling below the threshold of three million, something that has not been achieved since November 2008, shortly after the real estate crisis broke out, although it is more than foreseeable that this milestone will be achieved already next May.

The growth has been especially intense in the General Regime in Hospitality (8.94%) and Artistic, Entertainment and Information Activities (2.43%). The Balearic Islands stand out this month, where the average affiliation has grown by 10.9%.

On the other hand, the ERTE-ETOP stabilized at around 17,000 protected workers, after the slight rebound registered at the end of 2021 due to the breakdown of the supply chain and in mid-March, coinciding with the stoppages in the transport sector.

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