Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy, is one of Europe’s hardest hit countries when it comes to employment. With approximately 6 million people out of work, the unemployment rate at 26 percent was the second highest in the European Union, second only to Greece. But the country is finally seeing some optimism; in December 2013 the number of Spanish workers registered as unemployed fell by 107,600.
The country’s economy slumped after a burst housing bubble and many banks required large bailouts. The Spanish government began an austerity program to control its budget deficit and implemented structural reforms to improve productivity, which helped to recover exports and stabilize GDP in the third quarter of 2013. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos believes job creation in 2014 could exceed government forecasts. Many new jobs being created are temporary, where 92 percent of new employment contracts in 2013 were temporary.
The National Federation of the Self-Employed (ATA) reported that 27.7 percent of self-employed people hired staff in 2013 and 26.4 percent were planning to do so in 2014.
“Between 2008 and 2012 as many as 80 jobs per day were destroyed, according to our members. The situation has reversed in 2013. There were more than 65,000 jobs created and we expect a growth of +1% for 2013. A lot of it is beneficial to youth employment and entrepreneurship as more than half of the new self-employed workers are under 30.”
Asempleo, the Spanish association representing private employment agencies, forecasts return to growth in early 2014. According to Andreu Cruañas, President of Asempleo, candidates with IT experience will be in high demand, specifically SEM or SEO specialists, web analysts, business developers, bilingual or trilingual (English and German especially) office managers, engineers, and managers. The President of the Spanish Confederation of Commerce, Manuel Garcia-Izquierdo, predicts that electronic commerce will create new opportunities, and sectors that will see improvement include tourism, textiles, industries ancillary to new technologies, and services to people such as child care and elderly care.