The labor market has been hit hard by the dual health and economic crisis, ending the trend of job creation in recent years. The first year of Covid-19 resulted in nearly 527,900 more unemployed in Spain than in 2019 and the unemployment rate at the end of 2020 stood at 16.54% of the workforce. And there is a particularly affected age group: the over 50s, who at the end of 2020 represented more than a quarter of the total number of unemployed (25.16%). Last year, it ended with nearly a million people over 50 unemployed, or 936,200 people, or 67,600 more than in 2019.
After a summer with few restrictions on mobility, according to Generation SAVIA, in the third quarter there was a direct relationship between senior unemployment and rising unemployment, which severely punished professionals between the ages of 50 and 54 during of the year. and in the fourth trimester, and between 54 and 59 years of age in the second trimester, coinciding with house arrest.
According to Leopoldo Abada, a leading economist in the economic analysis of crises, “the pandemic has consolidated a situation which was already worrying a few years ago. People over 50 are a treasure for society and it is necessary to promote employability in these age groups ”.
Gender gap persists in senior unemployment
Women over 50 have been the most vulnerable since the start of the pandemic. They represent about two-thirds of the unemployed in this age group and double the number of men: 40,100 women against 19,700 men at the end of 2020. In other words, 6 of the 10 new unemployed over 50 are of women and only 4 in 10 are men.
In fact, the data suggests that the profile of the newly unemployed over 50 is a woman aged 50 to 54 who lost her job between June and December 2020.
What do seniors bring to the labor market?
According to Susana Julin and Teresa Bernab, Development and HR consultants at Galaris Desarrollo, the negative economic situation added to the digitization of companies “means that we find ourselves in a labor market that requires a review of resilience and a strong capacity to accommodate of the unemployed. ; and there, the over 50s, despite what it may seem, are in an advantageous position ”. “Its technological adaptability has been demonstrated; Their professional background has provided them with relationships that can now be of significant support; They have skills that help them face new challenges in organizations such as analytical skills, critical thinking, adaptation to change, decision making and problem solving with perspective, serenity and temperance; and above all, they have a lot of accumulated experience, ”they say of the company. In short, their experience, their contacts and their attitude make seniors the best allies for companies to face the post-pandemic.
In a context where life expectancy is increasingly high and the birth rate increasingly low, having senior talents in organizations will be essential for the sustainability of our country. Generacin Savia has been working in this line for more than two years, an initiative of the Endesa Foundation in collaboration with the Mshumano Foundation, which aims to improve the employability of professionals over 50 years old by promoting initiatives that cause a change of mentality in society. According to Gloria Juste, Director of Projects at the Endesa Foundation, “from Generacin SAVIA, we help professionals over 50 to face the new challenges they encounter after leaving the labor market. For example, we have to take into account entrepreneurship, which is not only a plan B, but which is often a first option and one of the most valuable, because we are talking about people with a wide career who, during the starting a project, have many tools, experience and a great capacity for resilience ”.