The number two of the Ministry of Labor, Joaquín Pérez Rey, right-hand man of Minister Yolanda Díaz, met yesterday with employers and unions to make a first analysis of the problem detected by numerous companies that cannot find workers to fill almost 110,000 vacancies for those who have not found employees. This is the official number of vacancies, but companies in the human resources sector such as Adecco raise the volume of these unfilled positions to 9% of the job offers of companies in Spain.
After yesterday’s meeting, the attendees agreed that the problem of lack of labor in the Spanish market is not nearly as serious as that experienced by the United States, where the phenomenon known as the great resignation or the great resignation has caused more than four million workers to leave their jobs.
However, once this finding was made, the Secretary of State for Employment, Pérez Rey, also announced that an initial analysis of this problem in Spain points to causes other than those in the United States for the lack of labor and circumscribed the problem to certain sectors where “they are not paying enough, the necessary working conditions are not met.” Thus, unlike job resignations in the US, where workers are taking advantage of the money saved in the pandemic or public aid to leave their jobs – which are not the best paid either – in Spain there are companies that, no matter how hard they look, they do not find employees. Thus, Pérez Rey specified yesterday that “some of the vacancies that are occurring in specific territories and in the hospitality industry have to do with not paying enough, there are no breaks, the days are exhausting and the workers cannot reconcile their lives personal and professional”.
To this, the Secretary of State added the problem of the price of housing, in especially tourist areas where the average rental price is 1,400 euros and the workers must pay for it for the season.
According to this analysis, there is not a general problem of vacancies, but rather a localized phenomenon in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, transport or construction. Given this, the idea of those responsible for the Ministry of Labor is to reconvene the social agents within two weeks to take action in this regard. But, for now, the Government’s first recipe after the analysis known yesterday is for companies to pay more and improve the conditions of their offers.
In fact, the participants in yesterday’s meeting cited among the possible solutions is the intensification of the inspection activity of the Ministry of Labor on the working conditions of job offers, beyond specific campaigns such as the fight against fraud in the discontinuous fixed and temporary contracts that the Inspection plans to start this Thursday by sending hundreds of letters to companies.
However, other experts in the sector also point to other reasons why there is a lack of labor in Spain and that were not so mentioned after yesterday’s meeting. Specifically, the lack of training that companies demand, especially for qualified jobs in the manufacturing industry and telecommunications, for example. Although Pérez Rey did mention that part of the current vacancies are in activities with great technical complexity, such as computing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality or cybersecurity. In these cases, the solutions must come through requalification plans.