The hiring of people with disabilities has achieved record figures in 2022, after growing 8% compared to the previous year and exceeding 123,500 jobs, according to data from the Public State Employment Service (SEPE) and analyzed by the Adecco Foundation .
As the entity points out, while in the last year the hiring of the general population has experienced a decrease of 5.5% compared to 2021, mainly due to the drop in temporary and training contracts after the last labor reform, and situates 18.6% below pre-pandemic times (2019), the hiring of people with disabilities yields very positive data.
The interannual growth of 8% that has been recorded in 2022, is also 5% above 2019 and reaches a record figure in the historical series, according to Adecco, before noting that in 2022 people with disabilities have subscribed 123,515 contracts in Spain, compared to 114,315 in 2021 and 117,818 in 2019.
“If we look further back, we see that the number of contracts doubles compared to a decade ago, when it stood at 61,008,” Adecco points out in the report.
The general director of the foundation, Francisco Mesonero, has indicated that “this very positive data that leaves 2022 responds to the many efforts that are being carried out in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion in recent years”. In his opinion, these are “fundamental strategies to achieve more inclusive societies, but also to build more competitive companies, in which there are spaces and opportunities for everyone.”
The “optimistic” forecasts are met
As Mesonero has indicated, they are fulfilling the “optimistic” forecasts that placed 2022 as the year with the record number of people with disabilities, also coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the General Law on Disability, which was the first regulation on labor inclusion of People with disabilities.
“Although we are on the right path, there are still many other successes to be achieved. On the one hand, to maintain this positive trend in the hiring figures in the coming years, which is not a simple mirage due to the expected one after the stoppage caused by the pandemic; and on the other, trying to see it reflected in parameters that still show significant inequality,” he declared.
As an example of some of the challenges that remain in force and that, according to Adecco, hinder the full inclusion of people with disabilities, he points out the “low participation in the labor market”. Thus, it states that, in 2021, the activity rate stood at 34.6%, that is, almost two out of three people with disabilities of working age are not employed or looking for one.
“To reverse this low participation, it would be necessary to commit to updating active employment policies, as well as improving public-private collaboration”, pointed out Mesonero, who also highlighted “the importance of ending the training gap that continues to flourish for people with disability”.
Finally, the foundation indicates the penetration of workers with disabilities in the ordinary labor market as “another of the great challenges”. In this sense, it has reported that, currently, 71% of the contracts are signed in the protected field, that is, in Special Employment Centers (CEE). A figure that, in his opinion, is very high, but which has experienced a significant decline in the last year (in 2021 it reached 75%).