Publications

Labour market

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 15/12/2020
    Impact of lockdown on the euro area labour market in 2020 H1 (337 KB) Ángel Luis Gómez and José Manuel Montero

    Labour markets in the euro area in 2020 Q2 were severely affected by the COVID 19 lockdown measures. In this context, the conventional concepts of employment and unemployment are insufficient to describe labour market developments. Job retention schemes averted potential redundancies and replaced them with temporary lay-offs and reductions in working hours. Further, many workers who lost their jobs were unable to seek work owing to mobility restrictions. Accordingly, under the conventional measure of unemployment, they were not considered unemployed. A broader measure of the unemployment rate, taking into account this type of inactivity and temporary lay-offs, lifts the share of the euro area population available for work who were totally or partially unemployed in 2020 Q2 to 27%. The sharp increase in unemployment, understood in this broader sense, and the short-time work schemes prompted an unprecedented fall-off in employment in terms of hours worked. This decline was highly uneven, with Spain being the hardest-hit country. In principle, temporary lay-offs should help curb the potential hysteresis effects on the euro area’s labour markets. However, the more protracted the health crisis, the more severe these effects will tend to be.

  • 30/09/2020
    Effective retirement age: recent developments (399 KB) María Moraga and Roberto Ramos

    This article analyses recent developments in the average effective retirement age in light of the 2011 reform and the different forms of retirement. The analysis shows, first, that the effective retirement age has tended to increase in recent years as a result of the net increase in the retirement age within all forms of retirement, which has more than offset the opposite effect prompted by the growing share of the various forms of early retirement. Second, the impact of the 2011 reform, from the standpoint of retirement age, seemingly remains limited, as the percentage of new retirees who take retirement on the basis of legislation prior to the reform is still significant, and the statutory retirement age for workers with sufficiently lengthy contribution histories is still 65. Third, on average, workers who take some form of early or partial retirement have the lowest retirement age, although they generally have longer contribution periods and higher regulatory bases.

  • 25/05/2020
    Intergenerational employment trends in Spain in recent decades (512 KB) Sergio Puente and Ana Regil

    This article analyses the employment possibilities of the new generations, in comparison with those of previous generations at a similar age. The generational standpoint offers several interesting findings. First, in each age bracket, average real wages received by skilled workers have declined over the generations, while those received by less skilled workers have scarcely changed. Second, when these wage data are combined with the amount of time worked, it is found that in recent times there has been a widespread drop in average annual wages. This decline in annual employment income experienced by the younger generations appears to have a certain cyclical component. Lastly, in terms of job insecurity, the younger generations face a slightly lower temporary employment ratio, but those who continue with temporary contracts suffer a higher degree of turnover. The rate of growth of part-time employment has increased, especially among the younger generations with a low or medium level of education.

  • 20/05/2020
    Transferability of workers' skills in sectors potentially affected by Covid-19 (372 KB) Brindusa Anghel, Aitor Lacuesta and Ana Regil

    This article analyses the characteristics of workers who are potentially more affected by the COVID-19 crisis and their employment possibilities in other productive sectors. Sectors related to travel, accommodation and food services, leisure and wholesale and retail trade, which have been particularly affected by the measures adopted to limit the impact of the pandemic, concentrate 19.6% of total employment in Spain. On the other hand, sectors related to distribution, logistics and information and communication –demand for which appears to be less affected or might even have increased during the lockdown– account for 7.4% of total employment. Among the workers from sectors that are most affected, the proportion of women, young adults, the lesser-skilled, and workers with less experience and with temporary contracts, is especially high. The analysis based on the tasks performed by workers in the different sectors suggests that the potential mobility of the employees that have been hardest hit by the crisis is scarce, especially in accommodation and food services and in wholesale and retail trade, in part owing to the limited intensity of use in those sectors of tasks associated with information and communication technologies, writing, reading and numerical skills. However, workers in sectors related to shipping and leisure or entertainment activities might have more opportunities of finding a job in other areas. These results point to the need to support training in certain skills for the potentially unemployed in the sectors most affected by the pandemic in order to facilitate their transition to new vacancies.

  • 12/05/2020
    Teleworking in Spain (434 KB) Brindusa Anghel, Marianela Cozzolino and Aitor Lacuesta

    As a result of the boost given to teleworking by the current crisis, this article analyses the potential of this form of work in Spain and the capacity of different socio-demographic groups to benefit from it. According to the Spanish Labour Force Survey, the percentage of the employed who, at least occasionally, work from home amounted to 8.3% in 2019, up 2.4 percentage points (pp) from 2009. By occupation type, remote working is more frequent among the self-employed, small companies and skilled occupations. Furthermore, this form of work is still infrequently used in certain sectors of activity which could have been bolstered by new technological developments, such as manufacturing, public administration, transportation and storage, administrative activities, wholesale and retail trade and other service activities. The types of workers, having taken into account the characteristics of their jobs, who work remotely are usually individuals aged between 35 and 65 and those with university studies. An analysis of the intrinsic characteristics of each occupation estimates that about 30% of persons employed could telework, at least occasionally, and, consequently, there is considerable room for improvement in the application of these working arrangements. However, this potential increase is asymmetrical and not all workers are going to be able to take advantage of these arrangements since those with a lower level of educational attainment will find it difficult to be able to benefit from them.

  • 05/03/2020
    Population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Spain, according to the European Council definition (215 KB) Aitor Lacuesta and Brindusa Anghel

    This article describes the concept of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion that is used to quantify the targets set in this respect for the countries of the European Union. Drawing on this definition, the article analyses how poverty in Spain has evolved. It also examines the factors that have contributed to poverty levels in Spain still being above the official targets for 2020 and the average of the rest of the countries of the European Union. Lastly, some aspects of the definition are identified that suggest that the concept of economic poverty should be addressed from several complementary standpoints.

  • 13/02/2020
    The end of the demographic dividend in Latin America: challenges for economic and social policies (478 KB) Juan Carlos Berganza, Rodolfo Campos, Enrique Martínez Casillas and Javier Pérez

    Population ageing is a major global challenge. The Latin American economies have a younger population structure than other emerging and advanced economies, which has allowed them to enjoy the so-called demographic dividend (a favourable working age/non-working age population ratio). However, according to the latest demographic projections of the United Nations (UN), it is estimated that in 2020 the Latin American population pyramid will resemble that of the advanced economies in 1990 and that, by around 2050, both groups will have similar population profiles. This article documents the current demographic trends in Latin America and discusses the main related challenges, in particular, those arising from the adaptation of social welfare systems to population ageing.

  • 06/02/2020
    Ageing, productivity and employment status (596 KB) Brindusa Anghel and Aitor Lacuesta

    The article analyses how labour market participation and the type of work performed change with age. Drawing on data from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), it is documented that as people age they gradually lose certain skills relating to their ability to do physical work or use new technologies, or their literacy and numeracy skills. By contrast, as they build up experience, older workers develop better planning skills and a greater ability to supervise the work of others and respond to setbacks. However, the transition between these tasks is not problem-free, especially in certain sectors, such as agriculture, small retail trade, hotels and restaurants and domestic help, which in Spain are more likely to have a higher concentration of older workers with a lower level of education than in the rest of the euro area. In this respect, larger firm size, flexible working environments, retirement schemes with certain specificities relating to skills required in different occupations and an increase in continuing training would all be conducive to a lower decline in productivity and a higher degree of employability of older workers. This is particularly important in Spain’s current demographic context of a gradually ageing population.

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