Tourism continues to be one of the main drivers of employment in Spain: with 146,678 more workers than in the same quarter of the previous year, the sector accounted for 24.9% of the increase in employed workers experienced by the Spanish economy in this period. Up to 2,864,776 employed people were dedicated to tourist activities last quarter —13.6% of total employment in Spain—, according to data published this Wednesday by the Spanish Tourism Institute (Turespaña). It is 6.9% more than in the same period of 2019, before the outbreak of the covid pandemic.
While in the Spanish economy the unemployment rate stands at 11.6%, tourism has a higher percentage of assets: only 8.5% of workers in the sector were unemployed at the end of the quarter. Of course, this figure has two nuances: first, that the percentage of unemployed over active has increased by half a point compared to the same period last year -due, according to the Institute, to the increase in the active population in the sector- and, secondly, that the metrics compared are not exactly the same, because the unemployment rate includes, in addition to the unemployed by sector, groups not broken down by activity. From Turespaña they point out that the metric to compare them is correct, because in tourism not all the unemployed can be classified by sector.
The number of employed persons has increased in all branches of activity, except in “Other tourist activities”: in hospitality the increase was 7.1%, “due to the positive evolution of both food and beverage services (7.1 %) and accommodation services (7.2%)”, they explain from Turespaña. In travel agencies the variation was 0.4%, while in passenger transport it was 10.8%.
In an interview for RTVE, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, described the data published this Wednesday as “extraordinary”, and pointed out how tourism “is pulling the country’s economy”. The minister has defined as “magnificent” the evolution of a sector that he, he defends, offers “job stability”.
Lower the temporality
Tourism has not been immune to the reduction in temporary employment experienced by the Spanish labor market. The proportion of temporary jobs has gone from 26.4% in 2022 to 19.6% this year, and workers with an indefinite contract have increased by 18.1%. In the total Spanish economy, temporary workers represent 17.3%. In addition, salaried workers continue to gain ground over the self-employed: in the second quarter of 2023, salaried workers in tourism amounted to 2,381,684, 83.2% of employment in the sector. With a year-on-year increase of 8.1%, they already mark eight consecutive quarters on the rise.
Full-time wage earners represented almost three quarters of the total for the sector (74.9%), and experienced an increase of more than 9%. Wage earners with part-time work also increased, in line with the general growth of employment in the sector, although they did so less, 3.8%. One in four jobs was part-time.
In the territorial chapter, the number of employed increased in all the autonomous communities, except in the Valencian Community, Castilla y León, Aragón and Cantabria. In the economy as a whole, it evolved favorably in all communities except Ceuta and Melilla. The autonomous communities with the greatest number of tourist flows —Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Andalusia, the Valencian Community, and the Community of Madrid— are, in turn, those that generate the most employed people in the sector, bringing together in the second quarter of 74.5% of the total employed in the sector.
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