More workers have been given stable contracts in the hospitality sector. ÑITO SALAS
Malaga, the Spanish province with the highest growth in full-time permanent work

Malaga, the Spanish province with the highest growth in full-time permanent work

The labour reform and a focus on the service sector explain the increase in indefinite contracts

Cristina Vallejo

Tuesday, 7 February 2023, 19:12


Malaga is the province with the largest growth in employees with a full-time permanent contract in 2022, according to social security figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations. Between December 2021 and January 2023, the number increased by 28.2%, growing from 206,125 to 264,245 workers. At the national level, the increase in the same period was 16.4%.

More men than women

In the last year, the number of men registered with the social security with a full-time indefinite contract grew by more than 31% in Malaga, almost double the national average (17.5%), while in the case of women, the increase was 23%, also above the national average (14.64%).

While most indefinite contracts increased, the number of shorter, part-time contracts fell. Social security contributors with a temporary part-time contract fell by 68.6% in the last thirteen months - 10% more than the national average - going from 60,275 to nearly 19,000. Only the Balearic Islands and Alicante had a greater drop than Malaga.

Malaga is the province in which the quality of hiring has grown the most and in which the number of men with temporary part-time contracts has decreased the most, as well as the third province in which the number of women with a temporary part-time contract decreased the most.

Labour reform and staff shortages

So, why has Malaga performed so well? Sergio Cuberos, president of the Malaga Chamber of Commerce, explains that there are two underlying causes.

Firstly, the entry into force of the labour reform, which limits temporary hiring to cases in which it is justified, forcing companies to create stable positions for employees taken on previously on temporary contracts. Secondly, the shortage of qualified labour for certain jobs: for example in sectors linked to tourism, contracts have been extended to full time from part-time. Of course, the strong recovery of the tourism sector cannot be overlooked here.

Malaga is also among the provinces in which permanent part-time contracts are growing the most: 60.1% among men (above 44.24% of the national average) and close to 42% among women (compared to the 31.91% average in Spain).

Permanent seasonal hiring is growing strongly

According to figures from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, the greatest growth at the national level in the number of social security contributors with a full-time permanent contract occurred in the construction sector among men with a 54.17% increase. In the case of women, the greatest increase took place in the hospitality industry (33.53%).

As for stable part-time contracts, women shot up more than 64% in the hospitality industry, while among men the 70% increase also stands out in the same sector.

Professor Laura Pérez Ortiz points out that in addition to activities related to tourism, a transformation is also taking place in public administration.

"What is observed is that indefinite hiring is increasing, especially in those branches where temporary employment was very high and there has been a transfer in the type of contracts," she explained.

The latest labour reform limits the use of temporary contracts

Santos Miguel Ruesga, Professor of Economics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, summarises the issue: as the temporary employment options have been closed companies need to adopt different hiring models.

It is a phenomenon that occurs in all sectors, but it is more visible in the hotel and catering industry, where the seasonality is greater. In addition, the professor highlights, temporary contracts are also being replaced by permanent seasonal contracts, which have increased by an average of 150% among men and 85% among women in Spain, while in Malaga they have grown by 178% and 110%, respectively.





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