One month since the end of 2018. “It was a one-month substitution at the CAMF in Alcuéscar,” Ana (48 years old, Badajoz) summarizes all her work experience over more than three years.
His is not an isolated case. Of the 92,700 unemployed in Extremadura, almost a third have been in this situation for more than two years: exactly 28,700 people, representing 30.9% of the total number of unemployed in the region. “Two years ago I finished my contract as a student-worker in a Vocational School and since then I have not found a job,” narrates her situation Montse Gallego (45 years old, Don Benito).
They are actively seeking employment. They crawl the web and post their resumes, but in very few cases do they get a response. “I haven’t done an interview in two years,” admits Montse.
Extremadurans have been looking for a job for more than two years, according to the EPA for the month of December 2021; Despite the fact that this figure grew in the second half of last year, in the year-on-year comparison a decrease of almost 4,000 people has been verified since December 2020.
When she succeeds, Ana has not managed to be chosen for the job either. “The few interviews I have become somewhat uncomfortable, because on many occasions they ask me the reasons for being unemployed for so long,” she acknowledges, this Badajoz. “It seems that no one remembers that we have lived through a pandemic during which everything has been much more difficult,” she adds.
The percentage of long-term unemployed in Extremadura –those who have been out of work for more than two years– is very similar to what the last survey on the active population (EPA) –the one published in December– collects at the national level (29.4% ). Likewise, it is a rate practically identical to the one that exists in Andalusia and somewhat higher, between four and five points, than those registered in Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha.
Ana is aware that the longer she remains unemployed, the more difficult it will be to find a job. Therefore, she tries to continue training. “I have done many courses: the trainer of trainers, one on foreign trade, another on telemarketing,” she points out, this graduate in Business Administration. Her goal is to stay active and that there are not too big temporary gaps in her curriculum.
«I have worked 20 years in the trade; I think it is my age that makes them not call me»
However, he considers that it is age that plays the most against him. It is the same feeling that Montse has. They are not without reason. There are 16,700 women between the ages of 45 and 54 unemployed in Extremadura, according to the EPA. It is the group, by sex and age, with the most unemployed people. They are 18% of the total and 35% if only women are taken into account. “In most selection processes I can’t even participate,” laments Ana, who explains that the first thing you find in a job offer is a questionnaire in which your data is requested and in many cases you don’t have the option to continue. .
Being everything through the computer and filtered by age, neither Ana nor Montse have the option of being known. “I have more than 20 years of experience in commerce, which is the sector in which I focus, but I am also looking in others,” adds Montse, who regrets that there are aids and subsidies for the hiring of young people, but not for their age group. “I can contribute different things than younger people and I am at a very good age to work,” she defends. The problem: “They don’t see you, a machine answers you,” adds Ana.
They both believe that if a company bothered to review their resume or interview them, it would be much easier for them. Work experience is not lacking. Ana worked for two different large commercial chains for more than 15 years, but she left at the end of 2018 in an employment regulation file. “Since then my job is to look for a job,” she adds, tired of not opening any of the doors she knocks on.
In that age group in which Ana and Montse move – which groups 26,000 unemployed, the highest volume – 65% of unemployed people are women.
Not all the data is negative for the long-term unemployed. During the last year the total number of unemployed in the region was reduced by 12,000 workers in Extremadura. At the same time, there was also a decline in people who had been looking for a job longer.
The pandemic has complicated the labor market and lengthened the time it takes to find a job
In December 2020 there were 32,500, almost 4,000 more than in the last EPA. Or what is the same, one in three people who disappeared from the list of unemployed throughout 2021 were from the group of unemployed who had been out of work for two years or more.
It is also true that in the last two quarters of the year the number of long-term unemployed has grown again. In the June EPA there were 23,000, which meant a decrease of 9,500 in just six months, but from then on it increased again by 5,700 people to reach 28,700.
Even so, the global downward trend of the year meant that it ended with the lowest number of long-term unemployed since 2010. And it is that after the economic crisis of 2008, at a time when unemployment was highest raised, more than 60,000 unemployed were reached who had not found work for more than two years.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.