Aging explodes in Spain in 2021 at 129%: what future for the labor market?
The National Institute of Statistics has made public the latest data on aging in our country which, for another year, reflects an unstoppable trend: in 2021, Spain again recorded a new maximum of aging, of 129% or, that’s what it Likewise, there are already 129 people aged over 64 for 100 under 16. This figure represents the highest growth (3.4 percentage points) in the historical series since 1999, taking into account that last year it was 125.7%.
The current figure contrasts with that at the start of the millennium, when our country was still young: in 1999, the population of those under 16 was even larger than that of those over 64, with an aging rate of 99%. Since the year 2000, Spain is already an aging country, with an aging index that exceeds 100% and which increases rapidly each year. In fact, in the last fiscal year, the number has jumped by more than 3 percentage points.
This rebound in aging is occurring despite the fact that the pandemic has increased the number of deaths by 17%, particularly affecting the elderly. However, the number of births was also impacted, with a drop of 6%. Likewise, the short-term fertility indicator reached its lowest value since 2000 in 2020, with 1.1 children per woman, according to the INE. This collapse in the birth rate over the past year is linked to the uncertainty caused by the economic crisis, as well as the fear of health problems during pregnancy, circumstances that delay childbirth.
The deflated birth rate and skyrocketing aging rate have their most visible – and imminent – consequences for the pension system. The contributor-retiree ratio closed 2020 with a figure of 1.9, an index in everyone since 2007, when it was 2.7. “The current minimum value does not guarantee the sustainability of the pension system and requires an urgent response to challenges such as the systematic chronology of unemployment among the elderly working population or the promotion of tax and labor incentives that have an impact on families and boost birth rates. »Says Francisco Mesonero, CEO of the Adecco Foundation.
Aging by autonomous communities
By autonomous communities, Asturias again leads the aging ranking, with an index of 231% (231 out of 64 per 100 under 16, a value that has increased by 6.5 percentage points compared to the last year), followed by Galicia (207%) Castilla Len (204%). These 3 regions already have more than double the population over 64 years of age than those under 16. On the other hand, Ceuta (61.7) and Melilla (46.2) and Murcia (90.4%) are the only regions which are resisting with indices still below 100%, recording – still – a higher proportion of young people. .
Senior talent: the great challenge of the 21st century
In view of the figures mentioned above, the Adecco Foundation is strengthening the debate on senior talents as the only alternative for the future of our country: “faced with aging figures of such magnitude, it is urgent to position senior talents as a priority, both in terms of public and commercial strategies, in order to definitively eradicate age discrimination in the workplace and so that the unemployed over 45 can re-establish themselves in the labor market in a sustainable manner over time, ”emphasizes Francisco Mesonero.
In fact, el talento senior sigue sin ser un asunto prioritario para el 74% de las empresas y el 52% admitted encontrar frenos para la incorporacin de profesionales mayores de 45 aos, segn el inform #TuEdadEsUnTesoro, presented by Fundacin Adecco in este mes of June. In addition, 86% of the older unemployed believe that age is detrimental to their access to employment. “These percentages come up against the full force of the demographic situation, with older workers being the dominant workforce but, at the same time, the one that encounters the most obstacles to consolidation in the labor market”, underlines Mesonero.
Indeed, 56% of the unemployed over 45 have been unemployed for more than a year, against 45% in general, a percentage which explains the trend towards chronic unemployment among seniors.
In this regard, the manager explains that “it is essential to strengthen active employment policies and public-private collaboration, being the main instruments to requalify seniors who have lost their jobs and to relocate them, if necessary, in other sectors that they are currently generating demand ”.
Finally, Mesonero warns against the need to stimulate the participation of the most inactive segments of the population so far (women, people with disabilities, etc.), to compensate for the lack of generational renewal and to stimulate, at the same time , inclusion and equal opportunities for the most vulnerable.