“Good unemployment data and bad employment in March, with activation of hires and fall of ERTE”

This is how Randstad analyzes unemployment data: “Good unemployment data and bad employment in March, with activation of hires and drop in ERTE”

In a month traditionally characterized by rising headcount and falling unemployment, labor market records in March this year reflect more positive behavior of the latter than the former. Membership has increased, but this is the second smallest increase since 2013 (except, logically, March 2020) and is declining in seasonally adjusted terms, while ERTEs have fallen and are returning to stable levels that had been observed during the period of November. 2020 to January of this year. Reported unemployment, for its part, fell more in March than in the previous five years of this month. Hiring returned to positive year-over-year growth in March.

Social security affiliation in March increased by 70,790 people, an increase of 0.38%, the second worst month of March since 2013. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that those affected by ERTE, which are included in the total of affiliates, fell in 155 thousand during the month of March, up to 744 thousand people. The seasonally adjusted series of affiliates reflects a decrease in membership in March and the year-over-year change is -0.45%. The total number of affiliates amounts to 18.92 million people.

Hires increased 15.82% from February, with a total of 1.40 million contracts. Compared to the previous month, the increase in hiring occurred both on a temporary basis (+ 10.84%) and on a permanent basis (+ 56.45%). On a year-over-year basis, permanent hires increased by 42.50% while temporary contracts increased by 7.72% compared to the figures for March 2020.

Reported unemployment fell in March by 59,149 people (-1.48%), the best March since 2015. Seasonally adjusted, the data are also positive, as they reflect a drop in unemployment recorded in March. The total number of registered unemployed stands at 3.95 million, down again from the 4 million exceeded last month.

In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment fell by 31,000 people in March and membership fell by 45,000.

Registered unemployment fell, in seasonally adjusted terms, by 31,277 people during the month of March, reflecting genuinely positive behavior during this period.

The seasonally adjusted series for Social Security affiliation in March reflects a decrease of 45,438 people compared to February, which equates to a reduction of 0.24%, which means that for the second consecutive month, the corrected series seasonality is bad news.

On a year-over-year basis, seasonally adjusted membership increased by 1.6 points, comparing March 2021 to a month (March 2020) already affected by the crisis, and down 0.45%, from the low of May 2020 ( -4.56%).

Hospitality and commerce are the sectors most affected last year

Social security affiliation developed in all the autonomous communities without exception during the month of March. The strongest increases were measured in Catalonia (+16,898) and Madrid (+12,684). Unemployment declared has fallen in all the autonomous communities, with the sole exception of Pas Vasco and Ceuta. The greatest decrease was recorded in Andalusia (-16,925) and in the Valencian Community (-8,897).

By sectors, affiliation in March gave the hotel sector a break (+33.306). Employment also increased in construction (+18,305) and professional activities (+8,969). Employment fell, especially in agriculture (-23,494). On a year-over-year basis, the sectors that lost the most jobs were the hotel industry (-200,937) and commerce (-47,689) and the one that increased the most, health activities (+73,110).

Hiring recovers year-over-year growth after negative year

Hiring has increased significantly from February. The increase of 15.82% can be explained by both temporary and permanent contracts. A total of 1.40 million contracts were signed in March, while in March 2020, 1.26 million contracts were signed.

In the case of permanent hiring, 207,191 contracts were signed in March (the highest figure for this month in the entire series), i.e. 74,760 more than in February (+ 56.45%), while the temporary hiring, with 1.20 million contracts in March, recorded a monthly increase of 117,063 contracts (+ 10.84%), the lowest level in March (except 2020) since 2014.

Year-on-year, hiring increased again compared to the same month of 2020 (+ 11.75%), with increases both permanent (+ 42.50%) and temporary (7.72%).

Randstad Research Analysis: twelve months of crisis show 86 fewer affiliates, 744,000 to ERTE and unemployment of nearly 4 million people.

A peculiarity of this month of March is that for the first time it is possible to compare the data of the month with the figures of a month, a year ago, also affected by the crisis. This fact allows for year-to-year comparisons in a more homogeneous context.

In this sense, Social Security affiliation has lost a total of 85,858 people in the last twelve months, which has reduced the employment rate year on year to 0.45% and placed the number of affiliates to 18.92 million, against March 19.01, 2020 (and much further from February 19.25, 2020, the last month that was not affected by the crisis). But the reading is different if we pay attention to the concept of “effective affiliates” which corrects the total number of affiliates, by subtracting those who, because they are in ERTE, are not working at the moment. And in this case, there are 744,618 people, which must be counted with a negative sign if one wants to get closer to the number of people who were working in Spain at the end of March. The effective number of members is estimated to be around 18.18 million people.

In terms of registered unemployment, the year-on-year comparison reflects an increase of 401,328 unemployed at the end of March and the threshold of 4 million unemployed, so close, contrasts with the 3 million unemployed, expected down in 2020, if the crisis had not occurred.

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