Spanish job growth still ‘incomplete’ amid slow global economic recovery – UN report

(Foto - splet)3 October 2014 - A new report by the United Nations labour agency has warned that the Spanish economy requires “comprehensive” measures to boost lagging job creation and lower its rate of chronic unemployment, among the highest in Europe.

According to the ILO, Spain’s jobless rate of over 24 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 continues “to surpass previous historical peaks,” since the financial crisis hit, young Spaniards lives have been put on hold. Youth unemployment stands at 55 % - second in the European Union only to Greece. Only Greece has a higher percentage of young people out of work, at 62.9%.

Among adult males, Spain has the highest unemployment at 25.3%, higher even than Greece. Despite the government's claims that the worst has passed and that employment reforms will encourage firms to hire, the figures suggest it will be a long time before any upturn in the economy is reflected in a declining jobless rate. With the holiday season coming to a close, the numbers are likely to rise as workers on seasonal contracts go back on the dole.

With close to six million Spaniards out of work, unemployment is so entrenched that there was no political reaction to the latest figures, neither from government nor the opposition. Indeed, mentioning the economy at all has become virtually taboo across the political spectrum. Meanwhile, Spaniards and recent immigrants are deserting the country in search of work, with 500,000 leaving in 2012, 60,000 of them Spanish nationals, most of them to Latin America and Europe.

In an effort to answer the demands made by the continuing unemployment crisis, the ILO’s report has addressed three areas of particular concern, urging an economic strategy that both facilitates transitions to a new growth model and a number of Government-backed social protection measures, such as major work programmes, to bridge the financial burdens facing jobless households.

In addition to these measures, the report suggests, the Spanish Government must increase its efforts towards stimulating quality job creation as a diffusion of low-paid employment may “perpetuate low-productivity traps” and contribute to an overall “brain drain” with the country’s most prepared and educated youth emigrating to seek employment elsewhere.


UN News Centre

The Guardian

Prepared by: Karolina Kaušylaitė