Employment office Palma, Mallorca

There have been fewer jobs because of the pandemic.

25-10-2020

At the end of September, with the tourism season all but over and businesses closing until next spring or for good, one in four unemployed people had been out of work for more than a year. Of the 77,112 people officially registered as unemployed, 24% (18,698) were in this situation.

The figures are particularly worrying, given the current context. In addition to the nearly 78,000 registered unemployed, there are almost 70,000 people whose employment has been suspended. By law, businesses cannot recruit new employees while they have ones under ERTE terms. These employees are therefore the first ones to take up posts (resume their posts).

The labour market, which in July 2019 reached a record high in terms of the number of people in employment, has been unable to absorb the demand for jobs because there simply isn't the work, and temporary workers have been especially affected. The collapse of tourism has naturally influenced the supply of jobs. As an indication, in September there were 18,311 temporary employment contracts. These were 44.5% down on September 2019.

The main unions, the CCOO and UGT, have been making their concerns clear since the start of the pandemic. They have been calling on the Spanish government to provide extraordinary benefit for temporary workers and also for those whose benefits have dried up.

The Balearic government is aware of the issue surrounding the long-term unemployed. The employment director-general, Llorenç Pou, says that they will not be ignored. Over the coming weeks, an emergency plan will be presented. Measures are anticipated for the unemployed, many of whom find themselves in this situation for the first time.

Pou adds that there will be specific initiatives for people who have been out of work for more than a year. He indicates that since the current government took office, "we have driven policies of employment for this group, and we will continue to do so." In this regard, the government has had some success. At the end of 2019, the number of long-term unemployed was half what it was in 2014.

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