The Spanish productive model, in which during the summer period some companies fire workers in sectors such as education during the holidays, has had an impact on unemployment and membership data, which were bad once again in August. The number of unemployed grew by 24,826 people, while 185,385 jobs were destroyed.
The positive data is that the figures are less bad than the months of August in recent years. But the negative data is that the labor market is unable to change this productive model of high precariousness. The Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, acknowledged that in education and other sectors there is a "holiday phenomenon" that causes part of the decline in employment and "that should not occur in these terms". "We will review it thoroughly", Pérez Rey emphasized.
With the rise in unemployment in August, five months of uninterrupted declines come to an end and the number of unemployed once again exceeds the barrier of 2.7 million people.
"For 25 years, unemployment has increased in August due to the seasonal cycles of the productive model," explains the Ministry of Labor in a statement. The sector that is growing the most is services, with more than 23,000 more unemployed. If this seasonal effect is isolated, the data show that unemployment fell. Specifically, in 23,373 people. And if we look back, the rise in unemployment in August is the smallest since 2016, excluding the pandemic.
In the case of affiliation, something similar happens. The destruction of employment is the smallest in a month of August since 2017, not counting the pandemic. And in seasonally adjusted terms, membership grew by almost 18,000 people. Almost a third of the jobs destroyed (59,407) were in education. In hospitality, the loss is not so significant, as only 1,333 are destroyed. To this figure should be added other workers in the tourism sector who do not appear included in this heading. Mari Cruz Vicente, from CC.OO., explained that August is usually a bad month for employment because many recruitments linked to the summer end.
At Funcas, economist María Jesús Fernández points out that the drop in membership in August is not so much due to tourism, as this effect is more noticeable in September or October. Therefore, it is linked to other activities. Fernández also warns that "after the pandemic, there has been a change in the seasonal pattern regarding when tourism contracts are made and when they end". For this reason, the Funcas researcher believes that it is difficult to compare the data with those of previous years.
On the unemployment side, Fernández believes that historical comparisons may not be valid due to the increase in workers with discontinuous fixed contracts. Previously, these employees had temporary contracts and were unemployed. Now they are not unemployed, but they are not working either.
The last 12 months, the figures are positive for both unemployment and membership. Registered unemployment has fallen by almost 222,000 people, which means a reduction of 7.6% compared to its value a year ago. Membership, on the other hand, grew by 555,499 workers in one year.
By community, unemployment has grown especially in those with a strong weight in the tourism sector. The biggest increases were in Catalonia, where the unemployed increased by 7,516 people, the Valencian Community (3,190 more unemployed) and Andalusia (2,882 more).
Catalonia is also one of the communities where more jobs have been destroyed. Membership fell by 60,317 contributors in August compared to July (-1.61%), which brought the total number of employed to 3,693,396.
Yesterday, the CEOE warned that the loss of dynamism in employment could be "worsened" from the autumn. Economic activity "has been showing some inertia", he added.