2023 has closed close to employment peaks, above 20.8 million people working affiliated with Social Security and, on the other hand, with 2.7 million people unemployed after a December in which the labor market accelerated . The final balance leaves the highest annual job creation since 2018, except for the post-covid recovery of 2021, with more than 539,000 more workers, despite being a complicated year due to the inflation crisis and the record rise in interest rates. On the unemployment side, it was reduced by about 130,000 people.

The end of the year thus remains somewhat below the employment ceiling reached in 2023, of 20.9 million people affiliated with Social Security reached in the summer (21 million workers according to the EPA). Although not very far: in December, the figure stood at 20,836,010 workers on average.

Compared to other months of slowdown in employment since the summer, December has meant an improvement for affiliation. About 30,000 jobs were created on average, a not very large figure, although higher than the record from last year and 2019, for example.

Furthermore, when looking at the seasonally adjusted affiliation figures – which marginalize seasonal swings in the labor market and are the ones that Social Security prefers to use –, it is observed how in December employment accelerated with 23,000 and 27,500 more affiliates in the last fortnights compared to to 10,000 workers at the end of November.

The pace of year-on-year job creation also accelerates slightly, from 2.6% in November to 2.7% last month. In terms of number of people, it represents more than half a million more workers, specifically 539,740, the highest figure for five years (except 2021, due to the rebound after the COVID collapse).

The Minister of Social Security, Elma Saiz, has highlighted the maximum female employment: 9.86 million working women affiliated with Social Security on average in December.The increase in employment among women is especially noteworthy; 55% of the employment created last year is female,” he stressed.

2.7 million people unemployed

The other side of the coin of the labor market, unemployment, remained above the barrier of 2.7 million unemployed people registered at the SEPE offices. Throughout 2023, the figure fell by 130,197 people, leaving the total at lowest levels since 2007, before the financial crisis.

The reduction in unemployment stands at -4.5% year-on-year, which – unlike job creation – is not as large as in recent years. For example, unemployment has been reduced by almost half that in 2022 (-268,252, -8.6%), although it is well above the figure for 2019 (-38,692, -1.2%), which was an exercise of economic growth prior to the pandemic.

The second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has highlighted the data as “very positive despite times of uncertainty”, although she has urged to be “prudent”, since Spain still has 2.7 million unemployed. “As long as there is a family with unemployed members, we must continue working,” she stressed. The Ministry of Labor also highlights that unemployment among young people under 25 years of age is at its lowest in the historical series, with a total of 193,965 people.

In December, registered unemployment decreased by 27,375 people compared to the previous month, in this case a reduced figure, the lowest since 2011 (also excepting 2020 due to the pandemic).

Maximum permanent employees and sectors with the most employment

Last year has also been one of consolidation of the labor reform approved at the end of 2021 and deployed in 2022, which reduced the level of temporary workers to historic lows. The temporary employment rate (temporary members over the total) is around 14% in December, indicates the Elma Saiz department.

At the same time, members with permanent contracts have reached maximum levels. “Overall, there are now more than 3.1 million more members (3,113,643) with a permanent contract than in December 2021, the last month before the reform came into force,” highlights Social Security.

The Secretary of State for Social Security, Borja Suárez, has highlighted that the permanent workers who have increased the most last year have been ordinary full-time workers, with “almost 500,000” more affiliated people, followed by “120,000” more permanent workers. part-time and about “30,000” more discontinuous permanent workers than in December 2022. Suárez has highlighted the figures as a sign of “the improvement in the quality of employment.”

2023 has also been a year in which Spain has proven to be more than “a country of waiters”, as it is often portrayed. Although the hospitality industry has been one of the sectors with the most job creation, with 75,646 more jobs (5.9%) in the General Regime, other sectors with greater added value have also greatly increased their workers. For example, scientific and technical activities (45,459 more jobs, +5.2%) and information and communications (32,007, +5.2%).

Education has also been an activity of intense job creation (+148,744 members), although its data is altered by a change in the registration system by which they have started to incorporate members previously classified in other sectors, as explained in Social Security. For its part, transportation and storage is another of the sectors with the most workers: 42,327 more employees (+5.3%).

By provinces, all have increased the level of workers compared to December 2022. Those that have created the most jobs in the last year are Toledo (+4%), followed by Madrid and the Canary Islands (+3.8%) and Tarragona (+ 3.5%). The least, Huelva (0%), Castellón (+0.6%) and Córdoba (+0.8%).

Source: www.eldiario.es

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