Unemployment down and self-employed “autónomos” up in 2014

The most recent version of the Spanish equivalent of the Labour Force Survey, the EPA, is out, and for once the results actually seem to be pretty encouraging. The main headline shows employment has gone up by nearly half a million people over the past year. Of these, it’s estimated that there are around 50,000 new “autónomos”, or self-employed workers.

Currently, it’s estimated that over three million people are self-employed in Spain – around 13% of the active working population. And that’s just counting the official ones – statistics including anyone working “in black” and just doing the odd part-time bits of work in addition to their full-time job are likely to be a lot higher.

Remembering having reported a similar news item last year, it seems to me that the increase in freelancers is not just a reaction to the crisis, but rather a permanent shift in what we look for in a job. And many authorities do seem to feel that the Millennial generation is more likely to want to be self-employed.

In any case, something that’s clear is that Spain’s autónomos will make up a sizeable minority in 2015. With elections the hot topic this year, will any of the main parties do enough to capture this vote? We’ll be following this over the coming months…

Do you think the increase in self-employed workers is a trend that’s here to stay? Hit the “comments” box below to let us know your take on things.

Images and text by Penelope


One Reply to “Unemployment down and self-employed “autónomos” up in 2014”

  1. Hmm. Interesting stats from Forbes.

    However, my personal observation is that employers have done much in the last two decades to break employee loyalty, especially the hardening of Personnel into Human Resources along with a deterioration in management attitudes & behaviours, the widespread ‘workforce reduction schemes’ (often just rebalancing the workforce to low-labour cost countries), and pay-for-performance practices that mean only cronies get pay increases. It doesn’t in the least surprise me that young domestically flexible people feel it easy to leave their current employer and, indeed, find it easier to advance their careers by changing job between employers rather than internally.

Leave a Reply