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Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures

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Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
People queuing outside a job centre. Photo: AFP
12:08 CEST+02:00
On paper the Spanish government is creating new jobs but figures show they are overwhelmingly unskilled, with short-term posts and contracts making up the lion's share of all new employment created.

In January 2015 Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said  that Spain will have created one million jobs in two years by the end of 2015, but new figures have shed light on the kind of jobs being generated, and they are not what you might expect. 

New figures released by Spain's Ministry of Employment show that the majority of jobs that have been created are low-skilled and short-term. 

The most common job found in the first quarter of 2015 was agricultural labouring work, with over half a million people finding employment in this low-skilled, insecure sector. The next most commonly found jobs were in the service industry as waiters and cleaners.

A quarter of jobs lasted for a period of just seven days, many of these in the hotel industry, adding to the insecure nature of many of Spain’s newly created posts, while a paltry 6.7 percent of all the jobs created in the first quarter of 2015 had fixed contracts. 

The figures provide sober reading, especially considering Spain’s economy is currently growing by 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Of the 4,036,520 jobs found between January and March, almost a third were made up of three sectors: agricultural labourers (541,772), waiters (446,828) and cleaners (265,229). Only 3 percent of these contracts were permanent. 

In Spain, as in the UK where much of the current election debate focuses on the issue of zero-hours contracts, temporary working contracts are by far the most prevalent in Spain. 

As the above pie chart shows, only 6.7 percent of contracts were permanent, while 91.7 percent of contracts consisted of one of Spain's various kinds of temporary contracts. 

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