Youth Unemployment Spain - LevelUp! Workplace Tutor Goes Europe

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By: Fernando Benavente

Young are victims of labor exploitation: 26.73 contracts per job

Almost a million and a half of young people under 35 are unemployed (4 out of 10) and almost 47% are long-term unemployed (they have been unemployed for more than a year). In addition, their working conditions have deteriorated, becoming more temporary and precarious (26.73 contracts have been needed to create a job).

The trade union UGT believes that the Youth Guarantee Plan does not work and proposes to establish a new Strategy for Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment, evaluating and correcting the failures of the previous Strategy.

It also claims:

- to recover the contract of relief and partial retirement at age 61.

- to establish a Statute of the Fellow in order to eliminate the labor frauds that take place around this figure.

- a new regulation of the training and learning contract.

- to promote a network of Youth Employment offices at national level; it is about having specialized counselors and developing effective actions within the framework of the Youth Guarantee Plan.

Last 12th of August, the International Youth Day was celebrated again; a commemoration that has been going on for 18 years. And the balance in Spain in terms of youth employment is not positive, according to the report developed by UGT "Exploited youth".

Although youth unemployment has declined by 16.12% in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the same period last year (according to EPA data) it still affects almost one and a half million young people under 35 in Spain, with youth unemployment at a rate close to 40% (39.53%). That is, specific policies against youth unemployment have not improved the situation of youth compared to the rest of the unemployed people (the percentage of unemployed under 30 years of age has remained at 27.32%).

Working conditions of young people continue to worsen, despite the economic recovery. The employment offered is of a seasonal nature (linked to certain campaigns such as Holy Week or summer time), precarious and very unequal, compared to the rest of the workers.

The activity rate of young people under 25, according to EPA data for the second quarter of 2017, is even lower than in the same period of the previous year (it stands at 36.80%, which means 0.5% less than the one recorded in the second quarter of 2016).

Almost half of the unemployed young people have been unemployed for more than a year

By age group, half of those unemployed below the age of 30 have a level of secondary or lower education, a group which requires training and employment policies to improve qualification and employability. In the 25-29 age group, almost a third of the unemployed have a higher education.

On the other hand, almost half of the total unemployed under 35 (46.96%) have been unemployed for more than a year. One third of them (402,300 young people) have been unemployed for more than two years. Something that confirms the low effectiveness of the Youth Guarantee Plan, launched by the Government with resources provided by the EU (European Social Fund) and whose purpose is to give a professional or formative exit to the youth in a term not exceeding 4 months.

More temporality and precariousness

Despite the fact that unemployment has been reduced, the proportion of temporary youth has increased by 2.14 points in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year (according to EPA data). A figure that contrasts with the general temporality rate that stands at 26.81% (increased by 1.09 points comparing both periods). The data reveal that: 75% of employees under 25 have a temporary contract, 58% if we extend the age bracket to 30 years. In many cases this temporary contract is not properly justified and is only done in order to reduce costs.

It should be said that of the total of employees under 30, 37.91% has a contract of less than 6 months and only 15.85% of this group claims to have a contract that can guarantee an unemployment benefit. During the second quarter, for example, 2,830,000 contracts were made to people under 35 and the number of employees in the same period increased by only 107,000. That is, 26.73 contracts have been required to create a job, according to UGT calculations, with unemployment data recorded by the Public Employment Services and the EPA.

And although it seems incredible, 39% of young people with temporary contracts are unaware of the duration of their contract, according to EPA data for the second quarter of 2017.

In terms of working hours, 22.55% of those under 35 have a part-time contract, 7.25% more than the average of the rest of the workers. And 61% of young people have to accept that because they could not find a full-time job.

On the other hand, those under 25 have a wage gap of 51.40% with respect to the total number of workers. That is, on average they do not charge half the salaries of the average population. The gap narrows, although it is still high, as the age bracket advances (30.55% among young people between 25 and 29 years of age and 15.19% between 30 and 34 years old). In addition, the gender gap is also maintained in these age brackets in values almost identical to the average of all ages.

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