2020, a disastrous year for temporary employment in Spain

Temporary hiring, which ended the year with a drop of 29.3%, was particularly affected by the end of the landfill activity

Randstad, number 1 in human resources in Spain and in the world, carried out a study on the evolution of temporary recruitment, the main source of employment in our system, over the past year. To do this, he studied data from the State Public Employment Service (SEPE).

Randstad points out that temporary hires decreased by 29.3% in 2020 in our country. In absolute terms, over the past year, around 14,400,000 temporary contracts were signed, compared to around 20,350,000 signed in 2019, a difference of around six million signatures.

At the sectoral level, agriculture recorded the most moderate decline in the overall national economy in terms of temporary recruitment last year, with a drop of 8.2%. Next, with double-digit declines, are construction (-11%) and industry (-13.3%).

Temporary hiring by sector

Source: Randstad based on SEPE data

In contrast, the services sector recorded the largest drop in temporary hires in the past year, dropping 37.5%, also being the sector with the largest number of companies, with around 8.9 million. In fact, 61.5% of all temporary contracts belong to this sector.

“Term hiring has been a very useful resource for many employers in a situation of considerable uncertainty, effectively responding to peaks in demand in industries as important as agriculture or logistics. However, as long as the health crisis is not completely resolved, the volume of temporary recruitments will not return to 2019 levels, ”says Valentn Bote, director of Randstad Research.

Agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and commerce represent 52%

The economic activities which generated the most temporary contracts in 2020 were agriculture and fishing (2,784,173 companies), manufacturing industry (1,680,699), hotel industry (1,590,045) and commerce. (1,445,776). The sum of these four represents 52% of the total of fixed-term contracts signed during the past year.

More than one million temporary contracts also concern administrative and auxiliary activities (1,310,906), logistics (1,143,455) and the health sector (1,077,050).

Temporary employment for economic activities

Source: Randstad based on SEPE data

The number of temporary contracts fell in all sectors compared to 2019, although Randstad points out that less pronounced declines have occurred in domestic employment (-5%), agriculture and fishing (-8.2 %), logistics (- 9.6%) and construction (-11%).

On the other hand, the sectors which saw the greatest drop in temporary hires were the hotel industry (61.7%), recreational and artistic activities (60%), other services (-43.5%) and scientific activities and technical (- 39.5%).

Temporary hiring dropped during lockdown

The Randstad study also looked at the evolution of temporary hiring from month to month over the past year. The year 2019 ended with just over 1.6 million temporary contracts signed in December and has since seen a negative trend of four months of negative declines coinciding with the outbreak of the pandemic, until it recorded a little more than 614.00 temporary contracts during the month of April, the hardest of the confinement.

Evolution of temporary hiring

Source: Randstad based on SEPE data

Since then, the monthly volume of fixed-term contracts has picked up again, with the exception of a slight drop in August, to reach nearly 1,470,000 contracts in September. From that moment, the number of companies decreased slightly, coinciding with the deterioration of sanitary conditions, until the end of the year with 1,243,404 temporary contracts, or 22.4% less than the same month of December 2019 .

The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands record the biggest falls

The study also took into account the autonomous community in which the professional signs the temporary contract. Randstad underlines that the Region of Murcia (-20.4%), Castilla-La Mancha (-21.3%), Navarra (- 23.4%) and Andalusia (-23.9%) recorded the decreases the least marked in the country, with less discreet decreases but still below the national average (-29.3%) are Extremadura (-25.3%), the Valencian Community (-25.8%), La Rioja (-27.3%) and Aragn (-28.1%).

Temporary hiring by autonomous community

Source: Randstad based on SEPE data

With falls above the national average are Cantabria (-29.6%), Castilla y Len (-30%), Euskadi (-30.3%), Galicia (-31.7%), Catalunya (-33 , 5%), the Community of Madrid (-35.5%) and Asturias (-35.8%). The two archipelagos, the Canary Islands (-44.5%) and the Balearic Islands (-52.7%), were the autonomous regions where temporary employment decreased the most in 2020.

In terms of fixed-term hiring volumes, the autonomous region with the most employment is undoubtedly Andalusia, with around 3.8 million such companies, followed by Catalonia (1.9 million), the Community of Madrid (1.5 million) and the Valencian Community (1.4 million). The sum of these four regions represents 59.7% of the total temporary contracts in the country.

At the provincial level, those who best represented the least pronounced falls were Guadalajara (-11.1%), Granada (-17.6%), Cuenca (-19.2%) and Huelva (-19.9% ). For their part, the provinces which recorded the most significant decreases were Tenerife (-44.7%), Las Palmas (-44.3%), Salamanca (-37.3%) and A Corua (-36, 2%).

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