Published on Monday, November 7, 2022

Spain | Unfilled vacancies

The lack of workers who can meet the demand for employment in Spain is one of the issues that seems to have the most sharp edges. In the short term, the consequences of the increase in unfilled vacancies may be significant for wages, inflation and keeping jobs.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • In the long term, the fact that these difficulties in matching companies and workers are occurring with such high levels of unemployment will continue to have significant effects on the Spanish economy's capacity for growth.
  • The lack of labor availability has not translated into an upturn in wages. Data for the third quarter suggest that the average wage per worker is only increasing by 1.5% in nominal terms. Wages fixed in collective bargaining agreements show a better performance, but the increase does not exceed 3%.
  • One of the factors that could be limiting the growth in wages is the increase in costs that has been observed since the previous year. Higher energy bills, in particular, are reducing companies' margins per unit produced.
  • Another is the environment of uncertainty. Employment and activity data for the third quarter place the economy in a situation of stagnation.
  • Part of the lack of response of wages has to do with the reduction in the percentage of workers with safeguard clauses that protected them against inflation, which has been referred to as the de-indexation of the economy. During the next few months we will witness the renegotiation of agreements and that is where the consequences of the increase in prices on wages will become apparent.

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