The working market It is gradually recovering after the attacks caused by the pandemic, which led thousands of Spaniards to lose their jobs from one day to the next or, in the best of cases, in a situation of ERTE.
Now, when normality is closer, unemployment is going down with a significant decline in August, with 82,583 fewer unemployed, the best August in the historical series. While there is still more than 3.3 million unemployed in our country, which places the unemployment rate at 14.3%, well above the European average (6.2%).
But if you look at a specific community, the situation is more worrying. Andalusia currently has 22% unemployment, a figure that seems chronic, since not even in times of economic growth has it managed to be at levels closer to the country’s average.
Why does this happen in the largest autonomy in Spain? What differences are there with the rest? And, most importantly, how could the situation be reversed?
Reasons why there is more unemployment in Andalusia
We have consulted with several experts in Andalusian economics and they coincide in pointing out the intrinsic characteristics of the region’s labor market as a cause of the endemic situation.
Manuel Alejandro Hidalgo, professor of Applied Economics at the Pablo de Olvadide University in Seville, indicates that many causes are combined, in the first place of “supply of labor in Andalusia, which has a lower educational level in average terms and it is concentrated in sectors with low added value, such as agriculture or tourism “.
“Consequently, this workforce has a harder time finding employment in a labor market in which there are several restrictions of a regulatory nature and little mobility, “he points out. In addition, he highlights the” sectorization “, with sectors with a high temporality, which generates unemployment. And, finally, he points to the regulation “Although in Andalusia it is the same as in the Basque Country, being activities lower added value, the regulation has a punitive effect that makes it more costly to hire work. “Factors that together generate the levels of unemployment that the region is unable to lower.
For his part, the professor at the University of Seville Rafael Salgueiro, also indicates that it is a sum of partial explanations to the highest unemployment in the Andalusian region. Above all, it highlights three. “The productive structure of Andalusia is not the same as the rest of Spain, the business density is lower, especially in medium-sized companies, there is a greater presence of temporary activities, such as agriculture, tourism and some type of commerce, but, above all, the main cause is in the qualification of the people “, sums up the professor.
The academic levels, on the one hand, and the training aimed at improving qualifications has not worked, insists Salgueiro. Something that seems key to the future of Andalusian work, because according to data from the INE, the community has a school dropout rate of 21.8%, the third highest behind Ceuta and Melilla.
We are talking about a high percentage of people who do not have any type of official training endorsed by educational bodies, which obviously complicates their placement in the labor market.
How could this be solved? Rafael Salgueiro emphasizes, precisely, that you have to avoid the “flight” of people from studies from the age of 16 to temporary jobs that do not guarantee long-term stability. On the other hand, it affects the removal of the limitations to business activity that still exist “and there are not a few.”
Of course, it warns that the result it won’t be immediate, “you have to persevere and insist on qualification, qualification and qualification.”
For his part, Manuel Hidalgo also points out that it is about a long-term investment and that a “flexibilization of the labor market would help, especially considering a reduction in temporary employment.” But above all, he also says that we must change the training of workers “and the basic training of Andalusians, which could promote in the medium-long term a change in the productive structure, which would solve the problem of unemployment.”
Therefore, it seems that the strategy to increase the level of employment involves improving the formation of supply and making demand more flexible and professional. If there are highly trained workers but the market is still temporary and with little added value, the problem will remain unsolved.