The arrival of 2020 was marked by an unfavorable context in the economic sphere due to forecasts of a slowdown in the Spanish economy and disappointing job creation prospects. January started with an unemployment rate of 14% in Spain (Active Population Survey, INE), doubling the European Union average. In this sense, the labor market was already a source of concern for companies and citizens which worsened with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the destruction of more than 300,000 jobs until September, according to data from social security affiliates.
With the aim of knowing the evolution of the prospects of companies on the labor market in Spain, InfoJobs publishes this report in which it offers the vision of companies on the employment situation in the short, medium and long term (6 months, 1 year and 2 years). The report, whose fieldwork was carried out in February and July, offers a comparison of how business perceptions have changed regarding whether the labor market will improve, stay or worsen. following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, also including forecasts by company size and sector.
Companies don’t plan to improve jobs until 2022
At the start of the year, before the health crisis, there was a general feeling of job stability in the short and medium term – as reported by up to 50% of Spanish companies – despite the economic slowdown. The coronavirus has disrupted hiring plans and forecasts for companies, which continue to manage a scenario of uncertainty.
In this sense, even if in February there were some doubts about the evolution of employment within two years (39% predicted that the employment situation would deteriorate), after the arrival of the coronavirus, 71% of companies surveyed in July predicted that the outlook for employment in Spain will deteriorate over the next 6 months, and up to 43% say the situation will continue throughout 2021. It will take wait two years for the forecast to reverse and 7 out of 10 companies expect the situation to improve.
SMEs, more pessimistic than large companies
There is no doubt that the pandemic has not affected all businesses in the same way and that the smaller ones are more sensitive to a context of economic and social difficulties like the one we are going through today. In this sense, according to data from the survey carried out by InfoJobs in July, 73% of companies with less than 50 employees consider that the situation will worsen in the next six months. However, among companies with more than 50 employees, this percentage drops to 66%.
On the horizon, in two years, the situation will repeat itself: the percentage of companies with more than 50 employees who foresee an improvement is 74%, while for those with less than 50 employees, the percentage is 70%.
Only 2 in 10 companies in the service sector believe the situation will remain stable over the next two years
The outlook for the labor market in Spain also varies according to the sector of activity. If in the short term the feeling of worsening is generalized, it is the secondary sector, dedicated to crafts and industry, which presents the most optimistic prospects: 61% of companies predict that the employment situation will deteriorate, against 71% of all companies surveyed. This sector is also the one that forecasts the greatest improvement in a year (27%).
However, when analyzing the results of companies’ forecasts over two years, the quaternary sector (services linked to the information or knowledge society) is the one that expects the greatest improvement (76% against 70% of the group). companies). Company). Finally, it should be noted that only 2 in ten companies in the service sector think that the situation will remain stable over the next two years, unlike companies in the tertiary sector (goods and services), in which up to 70% do not expect healing to occur for two years.