The Government recognizes that there is a labor shortage due to demographic tensions. This is stated in his Budget Plan that he sent this Sunday to Brussels. The document states that the working-age population is declining in proportion to the total population due to aging and, as a result, discusses the “tension between labor demand and supply.” In other words, he admits that there are…
The Government recognizes that there is a shortage of work due to demographic tensions. This is outlined in his Budget Plan that he sent this Sunday to Brussels. The document states that the working-age population is declining in proportion to the total population due to aging and, as a result, discusses the “tension between labor demand and supply.” That is, it admits that there is a problem with vacancies despite the position against it shown by the Ministry of Labor until now, denying the existence of this situation. The Executive emphasized that one way to reduce this problem is through migration flows. In addition, it is precisely the arrival of immigrants that causes the number of inhabitants of Spain to grow at a rate that is much higher than the historical average. According to the paper, they fill positions with greater diversity than before 2008, when they were primarily in construction.
Between July 2022 and July 2023 the population increased by 1.1%, a rate exceeded only by the real estate bubble years and similar to those recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. . This growth is explained on the basis of immigration. In 2022, INE estimates that there will be a net entry of more than 500,000 foreigners. And in 2023 there will be more than 600,000. This increase in the foreign population offsets the evolution of the Spanish population, which contracted vegetatively since 2015. The number of Spaniards is currently decreasing at a rate of about 100,000 people per year.
“The need for migratory flows is driven by demographic change and the positive evolution of the labor market,” maintains the Budget Plan sent to the European Commission. And he added that “the increase in the ratio between the general population and the working-age population produces tensions between the demand and supply of labor in the economy.” Although he clarified that this trend is more moderate in Spain than in the rest of the EU because the Spanish demographic cycle is far from the European one. While in Europe the demographic explosion began after the Second World War, in Spain the baby boom generation includes those born between 1956 and 1979, the years in which births exceeded 600,000 per year.
However, this trend can be seen more clearly, says the document, when using a narrow definition of the labor force, which takes groups between 25 and 55 years of age, with the highest activity rate. There it is clear that there is more population for each person of working age. The ratio is currently about 2.4 people for every individual aged between 25 and 55 years.
“A natural way to reduce labor demand tensions is to increase migration flows, a phenomenon that is happening in Spain,” explained the Executive. The Ministry of Social Security defended the acceleration of procedures to bring foreign workers to areas with needs. However, Labor opposed it. Finally, after many changes, the department led by José Luis Escrivá was able to expand the catalog of jobs that are difficult to cover in some technical construction trades.
The data shows that the arrival of immigrants in the labor market has accelerated: of the 1.25 million new jobs recorded since 2019, almost half a million were foreigners, a third of the total according to the Active Population Survey (EPA). . The Government document shows that foreign jobs are now characterized by working in a greater diversity of sectors. Therefore, compared to 2007, construction work decreased by 58%, while it increased by 30% in services other than hospitality. And it also presents greater geographical mobility than nationals: last year 7.4% changed their city of residence compared to 1.9% of Spaniards who did so.
The debate about the existence or not of a shortage of work, like many others, is a thorny issue within the Government. The ministry headed by José Luis Escrivá has long admitted the lack of workers in some sectors of activity. In fact, this department also approved in June the reduction of training requirements to regularize foreigners and fill vacancies. On the contrary, those responsible for the Ministry of Labor, with figures from INE and Eurostat statistics in hand, argued that Spain-with about 149,000 vacancies in the third quarter in a market with 21 million workers-are some of the European States that have problems. filling job offers. It added to the complaints from the unions, which claim that there are almost three million unemployed, where they demand training, placement and better wages.
However, companies and, above all, some associations of employers, such as construction, hospitality or the countryside, are the ones that have been sounding the alarm for the longest time because they cannot find workers. A recent report prepared by the association of owners of small and medium-sized companies (Cepyme) in The challenge of vacancies in Spain ensures that 71% of these companies have difficulties in finding employees they need. And they argue that this labor shortage has a variety of causes, some of which are complicated to solve.
One of these reasons is, as the Government argues in its Budget Plan, demographic, since the last 20 years, although the total population has grown by 13.4%, the group of those between 16 and 24 years old age decreased by 10%, with almost half a million fewer young people than before. Second, the lack of adequate training, especially in more technical professions, determines the existence of vacancies that cannot be filled by companies. In general, experts point out that there are many training courses in literature and, on the other hand, there are some who take vocational training. In fact, the Bank of Spain’s latest survey of companies in the third quarter shows that half of them focus on the loss of workers with the necessary qualifications. Third, there is the obvious problem of depopulation, which affects 40% of the territory and where the issue already affects almost all sectors.
“In vacancies there is a very complex phenomenology,” says the director of the Adecco Group Institute, Javier Blasco. In his explanation, there are sectors such as agriculture, construction and part of the industry that have clear problems of generational change, because in addition to the lack of demographics of young people, this group has the idea that the jobs in these activities are difficult and unpleasant. .paying. “And that is not the case, far from it, especially because they are jobs that are more technical,” added Blasco, who believes that the solution to this problem lies in greater training and job orientation.
In addition, it points to two other variables that explain the lack of work: “The excessive salary that is moderate in some professions, such as engineers, who experience pseudo-precariousness, especially in the area of wage, which is not good.” And, finally, it refers to the problems of depopulation combined with the very limited geographical movement of workers in Spain. “There is a bad distribution in the territory of the training offer, because the industrial training centers, for example, continue to be only where the production centers are, that is a mistake,” concludes said Blasco.