Spain has been aware for years of the challenge posed by the progressive aging of its citizens, due to which the population pyramid has acquired the shape of a bulb and narrows at its base, however, in the last five years this reality has become more noticeable. evident in the labor market. The ‘babyboom’ generation, those born in the 1960s and 1970s, are getting closer to retirement age and are increasing the proportion of active workers over the age of 55, usually referred to as ‘ senior’ -despite the fact that there are those who broaden the spectrum to 45- although not all of them have a job, so this phenomenon is also transferred to unemployment statistics.
The data from the Active Population Survey (EPA) for the second of 2023 reflected that the proportion of unemployed workers aged between 55 and 65 years old already increased to 18.5%, which almost doubles the data registered between April and June 2013 (9.5%). Then there were 569,000 people, now there are 510,400, despite the fact that the active population in this age group has grown by about 1.7 million people since then. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed who are nearing retirement is less thanks to a general reduction in unemployment to 11.6%, however, their weight in percentage terms has grown in recent years to exceed the proportion of young people with less than 25 years old who are unemployed.
The survey carried out by the National Institute of Statistics each quarter shows how the percentage of newcomers to the labor market who are looking for a job decreases with respect to the total population, while the proportion of professionals over 55 who are in the same situation increases The drawing is more evident when focusing on the absolute data, the number of unemployed young people used to be decidedly higher than that of workers between the ages of 55 and 65, but this trend was reversed for the first time in energy of 2018 and since then, the ‘senior’ curve has surpassed that of the ‘junior’ on up to four occasions. In fact, in the last three quarters (IV 2022, I 2023 and II 2023) it has done so consecutively.
According to the record shared last week, there are currently 535,000 people over 55 and under 65 unemployed, while there are another 467,600 under 25s with the same employment status. However, the population factor is not the only one that contributes to this overall situation, but it is necessary to broaden the focus. The economic recovery after the financial crisis of 2008 and especially the labor reform approved by the social agents at the end of 2021 have contributed to reducing unemployment to figures not seen since the years of the ‘real estate bubble’, but The norm promoted by Yolanda Díaz has had especially positive effects among the youngest, as its ‘number two’, Joaquín Pérez Rey, highlights in each press conference on the unemployment data.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Economy divides workers into those under 25 and over 25 years of age when sharing the data for each month, so it is not possible to identify the specific evolution of professionals between 55 and 65 years of age for this through; although the EPA does allow a detailed approximation of these data. The ‘juniors’ account for 16.9% of the total number of unemployed, despite accounting for only 7% of the total active population, on the other hand, the ‘seniors’ account for 18.7% and 18.9% respectively . This highlights that the fact that there are fewer young people does not prevent youth unemployment from continuing to be one of the problems that characterize the Spanish labor market and leading the European comparison with 27.4% in the month of July.
Although the 2021 labor reform has managed to tackle a problem that affected professionals with a long professional career and the youngest, but especially the latter: temporality. The private sector rate has been cut to 13.9% while a few years ago it doubled it, unlike the public sector, which remains at the 30% temporary threshold. This drop in the private sphere has had a special impact on young people, as celebrated by Social Security and Labor and reflects the data. In the month of July, those under 25 signed 29.65% of the permanent contracts (96,748) while those over 45 concentrated almost 24% of the total (78,277).