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The labor market in Spain

ART 3 FEB (jue) - El mercado laboral en España - PORTADA EN

The labor market in Spain has always been an important issue for people wishing to arrive in the country and remain as residents.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the labor market has been affected worldwide, including Spain. However, the situation is now being handled in a better way and there is talk of a “new normal”.

Now, has work in Spain improved? Here we tell you:

Unemployment in Spain

Unemployment is a major issue in Spain. With the 2007 recession, the country suffered a major impact on the unemployment rate, and the Covid-19 pandemic came at a time when the recovery was not yet well established.

Although Spain had been decreasing its unemployment rate since 2013, where it was at 26.2%, the recovery had proceeded very slowly, reaching 13.8% in March 2020.

From this point on, due to the pandemic, the country experienced a new increase in the unemployment rate, reaching 16.5% in August of the same year. The good news is that since August 2020, the country’s unemployment rate has experienced an improvement, decreasing to 15.3% in May 2021.

If we compare the current unemployment rates among the different countries of the world, Spain is in the third position with the highest percentage among the countries studied by, below South Africa which has an unemployment rate of 32.6% and Greece with an unemployment rate of 15.4%.

According to a study conducted by ManPowerGroup, Spain could return to its pre-recession unemployment rate of 2007 by 2026, meaning a decrease of 7.2% in 5 years from now.

McKinsey & Company, in a study made known that the post Covid-19 Spain will be under certain types of trends, among them we can find:

Digitalization (both in the day to day and in the workplace).


Health and safety.

Education and mobility

Sectors most affected by Covid-19

In Spain, and also in most of the world, the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic were hospitality, commerce and tourism. The Spanish hospitality sector alone lost more than 300,000 jobs and 70 billion euros.

This is because people had to stay indoors for safety, and basically all these sectors became obsolete during the whole quarantine.

However, there have also been different business modalities that have emerged and are here to stay, such as delivery services and companies, as well as business digitalization.

Most sought-after sectors in Spain

As we have observed, there are different sectors of the economy that have been affected and others that have experienced significant increases.

That said, LinkedIn published its annual study on the most requested jobs in Spain between April and October 2020, this report has given to understand that the labor market in the country has undergone different changes, among the sectors where more employees are requested are:


Due to the stoppages and changes that the education sector has suffered, many people have been looking for different professionals with knowledge in early childhood, primary, secondary and language education, so that young people can continue their studies, or also to reinforce distance classes.

The cities where most hiring in the Education sector was experienced were Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Murcia.

Professionals in the health sector

LinkedIn showed an increase in the search for professional staff in the health sector of 55%.

If we analyze this information with the Covid-19 pandemic situation, this data is expected due to the congestion of hospitals and the entire health sector in general.

In this sense, the cities that experienced the highest number of professionals in the health sector were Barcelona, Seville, Madrid and Valencia.

Medical support staff

The hiring of medical support staff in Spain experienced a 62% increase, where positions such as laboratory technicians, medical assistants and other types of jobs were extremely sought after in the last year.

The cities most in need of medical support staff were Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Granada.


Without a doubt, e-commerce has experienced an impressive positive increase in this last year, this due to the fact that everything we do today, be it shopping, entertainment, work, etc, is done through the use of the internet.

LinkedIn showed that the e-commerce sector increased in 2020 compared to 2019 by 70%, where Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Murcia were the cities that experienced the highest growth in Spain.

Customer service

Spain also increased hiring in customer services, being 64%, due to the congestion of the different companies.

An example of this is those companies that offer airline services, where many customers had to contact the companies’ customer service for refunds or ticket changes,

We can also make reference to other business models such as e-commerce, as is the case of Amazon, who was one of the companies that increased the number of hires significantly.

Working conditions in Spain

Currently, in Spain there are a series of conditions to be able to work in the country, which vary depending on the contract. Below, we show you the ones provided by the Government of Spain:


There are 4 types of contracts, which will vary depending on the length of time the employee will remain in the company and the number of hours he/she will work per month.

Full-time contract: this contract has an obligation to establish the working conditions, type, place, remunerations and compensation in case of dismissal, within a maximum period of 2 months.

Part-time contract: in this case, it must be defined within a maximum period of 15 days from the date of hiring, and all the characteristics of the contract with respect to its duration must be agreed upon.

Temporary contract: this is a job where a specific time is already specified, this work season will be stipulated in the contract.

Indefinite-term contract: unlike the temporary contract, the indefinite-term contract does not stipulate the working time, nor its nature, the contract will be terminated at the time the two parties decide.


The Spanish Government clarifies that scholarships are excluded from labor legislation. These are:

Scholarships dedicated to the development of internships, between agreements with universities and companies.

Scholarships for the training and qualification of personnel for the acquisition of experience.


Vacations in Spain are defined in four ways:

In the first year you will have 20 days for 5 days worked per week, and 24 days for 6 days of work per week.

In the second year it will be 21 days for 5 days worked per week, and 25 days for 6 days of work per week.

After 10 years with the same employer or 12 years with different employers: 25 days for 5 working days per week and 30 days for 6 working days per week.

After 25 years it will be 26 days for 5 days worked per week and 31 for 6 days worked per week.

Although the labor market in Spain has been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, different business models have emerged and the unemployment rate has been improving.

Is there still a lot of work to be done before the country recovers 100%? Yes, but little by little it is adding up and achieving a change for the better in order to strengthen the labor sector of our lands.

If you liked this article, do not hesitate to visit our website, where you will find the services we offer in TAS Consulting and many other articles that will surely be to your liking.


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