The good, the ugly and the bad


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In the employment situation, the good is in the numbers. With the year-end data, we obtain a new affiliation record, by exceeding by 367,734 the number of people registered with Social Security during the second week of March 2020, which was the previous record. It is true that the sixth wave of the pandemic presents a much higher aggressiveness in infections, but significantly lower in the number of hospitalizations and deaths, which has allowed the authorities to prioritize the maintenance of economic activity over health risk. Something that is now tolerated normally and that before was forcefully outlawed. Still we are far from one

normal mobility situation and that is why the December figures are not only good, but are close to miraculous. Membership grew by 72,600 people and unemployment fell by 76,800. All a success that the Government and the unions have considered as evidence of the urgent need to reform the legislation that has made it possible. Of course, there is no good situation that can be improved. But now that I think about it, there is also no one that can't get worse. Murphy dixit.

The ugly thing, what does not allow us to celebrate the data with excess of fireworks and bombast is the data of the persistence of many workers with limited activity that do not count for these statistics: 124,087 salaried employees in ERTE, plus 108,178 freelancers with benefits. With an added observation. We have exceeded the pre-crisis membership levels, but we were not very happy then, as we cannot be now, with more than three million people unemployed.

And the bad thing, what we have to analyze in depth, are the dysfunctions of the labor market that make the existence of millions of unemployed compatible with the unsatisfied demands of sectors that offer jobs that they cannot cover, in the entire broad spectrum of the world of work, from high technology to the harvesting of strawberries, oil or olives. We have been looking the other way for years, not daring to scrutinize the causes that explain such a scandalous situation that supposes a social drama and a budgetary abuse. Employers offer jobs and we have unemployed workers. The problem is that the supply does not match the demand. Or, if you prefer, the demand for labor does not match the supply available. Where do we start?

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