Temporary workers have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. At the end of September, the number of people with permanent employment contracts registered with social security was similar to what it had been in 2019, but the number of employees on temporary contracts was 40% lower.
Figures from the Balearics Statistics Institute indicate that there were 297,381 people with permanent contracts. In September 2019, the figure was 307,560. For temporary workers, however, there were 85,302 as opposed to 137,570 last year.
These figures reinforce what the Balearic employment minister, Iago Negueruela, has been saying about the effectiveness of the ERTE furlough scheme. The Balearics has been one of the regions to most benefit from ERTE, with a significant percentage of employees having had employment suspended under ERTE terms since the start of the pandemic.
For temporary workers, though, the situation is different. They are only taken on for the season, and in May just 8,999 temporary contracts were registered. In May 2019 the number was 66,388.
The situation at present is that there are around 82,000 people unemployed in the Balearics plus over 30,000 on ERTE terms. For now, ERTE and the special benefits for around 85,000 'fijo discontinuo' employees provide some reassurance at least until the end of January.
The call in the Balearics is for ERTE to be extended further, and the Spanish government, business and unions will have to undertake new negotiations regarding another extension. Without ERTE, it has been forecast that there could be an avalanche of bankruptcies.