The measures put in place to deal with the third wave of the pandemic from covid-19 deepened the decline in labor recruitment in Spain, especially marked in the services sector with a year-on-year decrease of 36% in February, weighed down by the hospitality sector.
According to data from the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) compiled by Efe, a total of 1.2 million contracts were signed in Spain in February, 24.5% less than in the same month a year earlier when they were close to 1.6 million.
The fall was more pronounced in the service sector with 688,641 contracts, compared to 1,082,282 a year ago, a decrease of 36%. And analyzing by business, he again showed the crash in hospitality, where only 57,570 contracts were signed, 80% less than the 290,908 in February 2020.
It’s about decline percentages similar to January, although in the case of services and the hotel sector it increased slightly: the hiring of workers in the former decreased by 34.2% in January, and in the latter by 77.7% year-on-year.
After these decreases, as has been happening since March of last year, there is the slowdown in employment in accommodation and restaurant services, which in February again suffered restrictions to try to stop a new rebound in the pandemic. Some measures that also led to a increase of workers in ERTE, up to 900,000, half of them in the hospitality sector, and a rise in unemployment that exceeded 4 million that month, a figure that had not been seen since April 2016.
One year of falls
The data for February represent a chain of a year of decreases in the volume of contracts signed, another indicator of the impact of the crisis on the Spanish labor market where, before the outbreak of the pandemic, around 2 million had been signed each month. contracts, also reflecting high turnover.
A) Yes, 2020 ended with a 29.3% decline in the number of signed contracts with 15.9 million labor agreements, 6.6 million less than in 2019 and the minimum of this series in seven years. In the harshest months of the confinement – between March and June – the number of signed agreements was reduced by half, a decline that moderated in the following months to those levels of around 20% -30% that remain.
Looking ahead to the next few months, it is foreseeable that the falls will no longer be so much, because they will begin to be compared with the months of greatest impact of the pandemic in full confinement. For the next Easter campaign, Randstad has indicated that some 88,420 employment contracts may be signed in Spain, which represents a drop of 1.6% compared to the 2020 campaign, but a decrease of 56% when compared to the last Easter in normality, which was 2019. “The restrictions on mobility and the perimeter closure of the autonomous communities will cause this fall,” the company pointed out in a recent report.
Back to February data, of the total contracts registered, 132,431 were indefinite, about 11% of the total. Of the rest of the contracts, 6,466 were formative and 1,073,387 were temporary. Within this last group, as is usual, one in four did not reach the week’s duration.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.