Increase in permanent employment in Spain

According to the Spanish Labour Force Survey, the proportion of workers with permanent contracts continued to grow during 2003, while the temporary employment ratio fell slightly, both across age groups and genders. There was a small increase in the level of part-time work.

The February issue of the Economic Bulletin of the Spanish Central Bank analysed employment figures for 2003, based on data from the Spanish Labour Force Survey (EPA). The report (pdf file) focuses primarily on employment, the active population and unemployment, and also examines types of contract and working time (full-time/part-time).

According to the report, the rate of salaried employment in Spain reached 81.5% of total employment in 2003 (compared to 80.8% in 2002). This continues the positive upward trend observed in this particular indicator since 2000, when the salaried employment figure was 79.9% of total employment.

The figure for employees on permanent contracts shows a 4.1% growth during 2003, following on from a 3.8% increase reported in 2002. The percentage growth for employees on temporary contracts was also stronger in 2003 (2%) than in 2002 (0.6%) - see table. This increase has meant a 3.5% overall growth in salaried workers in 2003.

Annual growth of salaried employees, by type of contract, 2000-2003
Type of contract 2000 2001 2002 2003
Permanent 8.5 4.6 3.8 4.1
Temporary 4.1 3.1 0.6 2.0
Source: Spanish Central Bank, Economic Bulletin, February 2004

Reduction in temporary employment ratio

However, it is worth noting that the quarterly trend in the numbers of permanent and temporary workers throughout 2003 contrasts with the annual figures. Starting from a relatively high level, the growth rates of those with permanent contracts decreased gradually during the year, while the percentage growth of temporary workers rose, leading to practically equal growth rates among permanent and temporary contracts (3.4% and 3.3%, respectively) in the last quarter of 2003. The temporary employment ratio - the percentage share of temporary employment over total employment - fell slightly to 30.6% in 2003 (31% in 2002). This follows the trend observed since 2000, which shows a slow but constant reduction in the relative weight of temporary employment.

Temporary employment ratio

The temporary employment ratio went down across all age groups in 2003, the lowest ratios being reported by the 30-49 and the 50 age groups: 24.6% and 13.8%, respectively. The gender gap was also reduced: men reported a temporary employment ratio of 28.6%, compared with 33.5% among women.

Increase in part-time work

Part-time work grew slightly more than full-time work during 2003: 4.8% and 3.3%, respectively. As a result of this, part-time workers came to represent 8.3% of total salaried workers in Spain in 2003. In terms of gender breakdown, only 2.4% of men reported working part time in 2003, compared with 17% of women. It must be added that, although the relative weight of temporary employment among Spanish part-time workers went down in 2003, the value remained at the high level of 54.9% (55.6% in 2002).

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