Unemployment among older workers is on the rise in Spain. Specific, unemployment of the population over 55 has almost tripled since 2008 in Spain, from a total of 180,000 unemployed that year to 508,000 today. This is one of the conclusions drawn from the Senior Talent Map presented today by the Mapfre Foundation, whose authors highlight that although the unemployment rate is lower among the elderly than in other age groups, once a person over 55 years you enter unemployment, it takes longer to get out of this situation with a greater risk of becoming long-term unemployed.
From the Mapfre Foundation they point out that there is a direct relationship between the unemployment rate and the level of training achieved. The index is going down from the 50% unemployment rate for people without studies to 6.6% for university graduates. By sectors, we see that 70% of the elderly unemployed belong to the services sector. More than 40% of the unemployed have been trying to enter the labor market for two years or more and in the case of women the percentage is even closer to 50%.
By regions, Andalusia is the community with the highest volume of senior unemployed, as is the case with the other age groups, which makes it the community with the most unemployed in Spain. Other communities with high population figures such as Catalonia, Madrid or the Valencian Community have equally high volumes of older unemployed. However, due to the percentages that the elderly unemployed have in the group of unemployed in each region, territories such as Castilla-León, Aragón or Castilla-La Mancha have higher percentages. In breakdown, the Canary Islands, Extremadura or Andalusia have high unemployment figures in this age group above 17%, while the Basque Country, Navarra, Catalonia or Madrid have lower values around or below 10%.
Despite this, the active population over 55 years of age in Spain is made up of more than 4.1 million, which represents around 18% of the country’s total. Furthermore, the employed population over 55 years of age in Spain is made up of more than 3.6 million active persons, which represent around 19% of the total. Three-quarters of the employed elderly work in the private sector, compared to only a quarter work in the public sector.
In the middle of the debate on whether Spaniards should work longer and retire later, the study authors warn of the phenomenon of «Working ageism», understood as the discrimination suffered by the elderly in the labor market. “This statement is sustained in light of the increase in unemployment of those over 55, the duration of unemployment of this group or the increase in self-employment and entrepreneurship as the only way to remain active. In Spain we are in danger of the idea that over fifty years of age is to have no future employment, ”reads the report.