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With falls in GDP identical and even lower than countries of our environment, Spain destroys more jobs and keeps unemployment rates much higher than. The economic literature reflects that, historically, has always been so, and the european statistics in the first quarter of corroborating, in a backbreaking job that puts Spain the head of the destruction of job in the first quarter. 200,000 jobs were on the way.

But the situation that draws Eurostat it is now much more sensitive , if you have in mind that of the three months analyzed our country he was only standing fifteen days (second half of march) by a decision of the Government to combat the pandemic. And in that period to put in place labour market measures without precedent to preserve the occupation, such as prohibiting layoffs objectives that were caused by the coronavirus, and STRONG as a formula for companies to hold jobs. And considering, moreover, that businesses have powerful weapons of labour flexibility to avoid layoffs, including in the labour reform of 2012, which the Government has agreed with Bildu repeal of the form “full”. What would have happened if Spain does not count with the labour reform, one that also lightened the regulations on temporary employment?

The impact of the measures of containment of the pandemic on the economy caused the largest contraction on a quarterly basis the activity of the Eurozone in the whole of the historical series. Since 1995, the year in which Eurostat started recording this data macro, there had been a crash so significant in GDP, by 3.8% in the first quarter, a percentage that in the whole of the EU was slightly lower, 3.5%. Although the european statistics has not been offered in this first estimate data broken down by countries, some of the major economies of the euro area, as is the case of the France or the own Spain, yes advanced kicks, historical of their respective GDP, with a drop of 5.8% in the case of the country, 4.7% in Italy and 5.2% in Spain, All above the average of the euro area.

well, with these data on the table, and with a minor contraction in economic growth, for example, in France or Italy, the destruction of employment was much higher in Spain. The fall in the number of employed persons between January and march 2020, it was 1% in comparison with the figures of October and December of 2019, according to the statistical office european, a rate five times higher than for the whole of the Eurozone (0.2%) and ten times higher than the European Union average (0.1 percent). Spain has gone from having an employment growth of 0.8% in the last quarter of 2019, above the EU average (0.3 per cent) to suffer a downturn in its labour market.

The next country, with provisional data of Eurostat, more jobs destroyed in the first quarter was Bulgaria , 0.9%. In Italy, which began before confinement the fall was only 0.3%. In Greece, the decline in employment was 0.1%; in France, 0.2%, Hungary 0.3%, or in Austria of 0.2%. The destruction of employment in the neighboring Portugal was 0.5%, in Romania 0.1% and in Slovakia and in Sweden also by 0.5%. is Estonia had a drop in employment of 0.3%. The locomotive is european, Germany, had a stagnation of the labour market, but not destroyed employment in the whole of the first quarter of 2020. Stayed at 0.0%. Outside the EU, data from Eurostat show that the Uk continued to create employment in the first quarter (0.6%), Norway was standing at (0,0%) and Switzerland had a creation of jobs of 0.4% compared to the previous quarter.

Against the repeal

Despite the fact that the flexibility of the Spanish labour market is still far from the one that exists in other european countries, the fall in employment by 1% in Spain in the first quarter of the year with a collapse of GDP of 5.2%, are developments that, despite everything, improve that traditionally logs in our country. The history more immediately what we have in the crisis of 2008: in the first quarter of 2009, the GDP fell 2.6% while the number of employed persons decreased by 6.4%, more than double . The supervisor estimated that before Spain destroyed 2.7 points of employment even if GDP “only” been toward slightly below 0%.

“With the labor reform, the gap with the rest of european countries exists but is quite minor”, considered to be responsible for Economic Analysis of BBVA Research, Rafael Doménech. The Bank of Spain estimated that between 1995 and 2008, the threshold to create employment was to grow by over 1.2% between 2014 and 2019 was reduced to 0.8% by the flexibility introduced by the labor reform. An effect that also occurs in downturns, and that is seeing with the intensive use of ERTE, who facilitated the reform of labour and enables the employment does not fall with much force when the economy shrinks.

Despite this, the high temporality -Spain is a leader in temporary workers, with a rate of 21.9%- is hidden behind the further destruction of jobs. “The production model explains a small part of this gap, e s for the distance that there is between the costs of the permanent workers and the temporary ,” says the economist at Funcas, María Jesús Fernández. “The repeal of the labor reform would not go in the right direction”, concludes Domenech.