The closing of summer leaves lights and shadows on the labor market. Although the largest drop in unemployment in a month of August in history , with more than 82,000 fewer unemployed in the Sepe lists, seems to underpin the improvement of the labor market during the summer, of the 118,000 jobs that were also destroyed in this last month, it is striking that 7% of them were self-employed. Specifically, the milestone occurs because this August, not counting the month of January of this year – when historically there are casualties in the Challenge due to the closure of the Christmas holiday period – there were 15 consecutive months of increase in the number of members of the self-employed regime , cutting short on this streak and taking 12% of all jobs aheadon own account added in the last year and a half, some 7,358 fewer employed persons.
In fact, from the month prior to the impact of the pandemic in February 2020 until this month of August, the Reta registers an increase of 57,707 workers . The trend collides with that experienced by the general regime, which has taken more than a year to reach the level prior to the crisis, although in August of this month 161,735 more affiliates were counted in the wage-earning regime than in February of last year, fueled by strong job creation since last April. But in the midst of restrictions with the third wave of infections still wreaking havoc on the labor market at the end of 2020, the Reta had managed to add 20,000 freelancers in those months of the pandemic, the general regime still collected a drop of 140,000 affiliates.
The refuge of unemployment
The president of UPTA, Eduardo Abad, described as “incomprehensible” the drop in trade, transportation and construction in the affiliation to the Reta of more than 7,000 freelancers. For Abad, the rise in the number of freelancers in transport and construction in recent months “shows that it was a fictitious increase.” “We were experiencing a boom in the false self-employed in unions that are directly linked to paid employment, and not to self-employment,” said the president of UPTA.
In this line, the consulting firm Declarando analyzes the evolution of recent months. “Could we say that we are facing a scenario that evolves towards the creation of own employment ? Faced with an economic situation that makes it difficult to hire new workers, it is probable,” the experts point out. “In addition, if we take into account that in the EPA for the second quarter of 2020, questions were added exceptionally -which have remained in the third and fourth- about work at home, it is to be assumed that we are facing a very broad group of population that not only seeks to generate its own income, but prefers to do it from home and without fixed hours, “they argue.
The sectors most affected
Furthermore, if we look at the sectors that have accounted for the most destruction of self-employment in the last month, Education activities have fallen by 1,715 workers, followed by Construction with 1,061 fewer employees and agriculture, which eliminated up to 916 self-employed from the Reta in last August. Transport also fell by 903 self-employed workers and commerce by 888 workers, being the sectors that monopolize the decline in membership . In fact, the only sector that achieved a positive result in August was the hospitality industry, with 647 new members, a figure that for UPTA responds to the impulse of national tourism.
“We are on the path of an economic rebound and recovery in some economic sectors, but the reality is that there are many freelancers and many companies living in a very difficult situation at the moment . Let’s face it and let’s not launch the bells on the fly yet,” warns ATA .
Contests and dissolutions increase
The increase in the number of contests declared during the first eight months of the year reached 58% compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a study by Informa D&B, a Cesce subsidiary. In Spain, there have been 3,941 bankruptcies and 18,720 dissolutions until August, according to the data obtained from the Study on Competitions and Dissolutions . On the other hand, solutions grew 29% . Only in the month of August, the number of insolvency proceedings registered is 139, the lowest of the year, being 38% lower than the same month in 2020. However, the dissolution data increased by 8%, although the 1,561 processes accounted for are also the lowest record of 2021.
Likewise, the percentage of express contests has been reduced, while in July it was 67%, in August it falls to 58%, a proportion close to 59% last year, according to the study. Of the total number of tenders presented in August, micro-enterprises (106 tenders) accounted for slightly more than 76%. A 22% belongs to the category of small businesses and nearly 1.5% to the medium.