Just a week ago August came to an end. These dates are usually hard for the Spanish labour market as the summer season ends and with it the expiration of the temporary contracts in the tourist sector. But this year the end of summer has not just been bad but really bad. The number of unemployed increased in August by 47,047, compared to 46,400 in August 2017 and 14,435 in August 2016. To find a similar increase in unemployment in August you have to go back to 2011, when 51,185 jobs were lost.
Moreover the number of people that signed up to social security fell by 202,996 compared to July, 1.07% fewer. This is the worse data for August since 2008.
Nevertheless, the worst figure is not for the month of August as a while, but for the day 31 August, which became the day when the most jobs were destroyed in history. That day 363,000 people signed off from social security and 58,000 signed on. If we do the subtraction we get the record: 304,642 contracts were ended in only 24 hours, which shows what many experts are calling the new “normal” in the Spanish labour market: the enormous temporary employment rate with ever shorter contracts. In fact, the rate in 2018 is 27% compared to 22.8% in 2012.
Various reasons combined to make the last day of August a “black Friday”:
- The first is that it was Friday and many companies dismiss people this day and contract on Monday to sabe paying people over the weekend.
- In the last few years the habit of dismissing people at the end of the month and contracting at the start of the next month has returned.
- And last – as mentioned before – the end of the summer season which ended many contracts in the tourism industry.
Jobs were lost in services, construction and industry. Only agriculture was able to create employment. The only good news has been permanent contracts, which have increased 33% compared to the same month last year.