“No way”. Jesús Cruz Villalón, professor of Labor Law and Social Security at the University of Seville, answers when asked: vacancies, unfilled jobs are a problem important in Spain. Álvaro Gaertner, CCOO’s finance cabinet technician and one of the people responsible for the publication ‘Analysis of vacancies in Spain’, agrees completely with Cruz. The data justifies them. Percentage of vacant jobs, jobs calculated by the number of employed, one 0.9% at the beginning of 2022, well below the European average of 2.9%According to Eurostat data. Moreover, according to INE’s Quarterly Labor Cost Survey, 94.4% of companies declare they have no jobs to fill.
So how do you explain their complaints about the lack of labor from tourism every summer? Or how come it is criticized from different sectors. no qualified personnel?
The truth is that the percentage relative to open positions has risen a lot over the last two years, although it “is impacting certain industries first and foremost,” Cruz says. Thus, while there were a total of 100,041 open positions in the first quarter of 2021, this figure became 133,988 in the same period of 2022, representing an increase of over 30% in one year.
The public sector is the sector with the highest number of vacancies., due to slow recruitment processes. However, sectors closely related to tourism are also affected by this problem, especially in places with very limited and expensive temporary rental offers, such as islands, and in this case, their visibility is much higher. The third and fourth sectors most affected by vacancies healthcare activities and more technical occupationsRequiring a more skilled workforce that cannot be recycled at the speed required by the labor market.
“The pandemic has accelerated this process because with ERTE employment was blocked and when the market was reactivated, the number of job offers and thus the number of vacancies increased,” explains the professor.
However, it can be surprising if we take this phenomenon into account. Spain has a rate unemployment highest in EU. According to the Active Population Survey, a figure of 13.65% at the beginning of 2022. How can there be open positions where unemployment is so high?
The explanations of the interviewed experts coincide: the problem of open positions is not general, it is divided into sectors, and the labor market is not agile, mismatch between employers’ and candidates’ needs. “There is no perfect fit where you make an offer and the right candidate responds immediately, a phenomenon we refer to as labor market friction,” Gaertner elaborates. In addition, these experts say that those who lose a job that is no longer in demand in the market, there is a problem of adequate and continuous training, especially professional recycling.
“Public administration is the sector most affected by this phenomenon, because hiring procedures are slow and strictsays Cruz. According to data from INE for the first quarter of 2022, with 38,685 vacancies, it represents close to 29% of the total number of unfilled jobs.
According to the same figures, trade ranks second. In this case, he notes, “the biggest problem is associated with seasonal work, where wages are low and housing costs are very high.” A good example of this is the clerks in tourist destinations like the Balearic Islands. “This is what’s happening in the hotel industry case,” says CCOO’s Gaertner. He adds that the working conditions are very bad and the prices of the seasonal real estate market cannot be met.
Again most hostel not shape Among the business sectors most affected by these vacancies, INE data shows the situation at the beginning of the year, when only 6,949 workers were needed, not the holiday period when most job offers were concentrated. In this sense, Emilio Gallego, Secretary General of Hospitality Employers of Spain, assures that only half of the 100,000 extra workers the industry needs each summer can be met. Still, Gallego noted that the hospitality industry is not one of the most understaffed, but increased visibility and suffers more in the summer period.
this health activities and these scientific and technical professionals They are in third and fourth place, respectively. In the latter case, Cruz thinks, “we have a breakdown in professional recycling and the unemployed are no longer able to respond to technical gaps.” These, he says, are work-related jobs, for example. digital spaceamong others.
Thus, “low-skilled job vacancies, poor working conditions and, in certain industries, associated factors (such as the rental price) account for much of the difficulty in finding workers, while when we talk about high-quality jobs, the problem is the lack of training, especially practice,” summarizes his professor. “Companies have chosen to recruit externally rather than train their internal people. and because there are not many profiles of this type, they can no longer find workers”, explains Gaertner. Despite this, he thinks the government supports good initiatives. Measures such as the approval of the new law at the end of March to reformulate vocational training, which creates a flexible modular proposal designed to provide progressive and continuing education.
Appropriate and continuing education, as well as mobility, are key, according to Antonio Di Paolo, associate professor in the Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics at the University of Barcelona (UB). To be able to respond to vacancies, but above all to solve the problem of long-term (equal to or greater than 12 months) unemployment that affects half of the unemployed, we must “give people the capacity to adapt to other sectors” because “the unemployed often do not seek work outside their field of experience or elsewhere in the country. this is also not sufficiently encouraged by the public administration”.