Employment is growing, permanent contracts continue to multiply and statistical records are beginning to be more and more ephemeral. A historic March has given way to a full month of April in which almost 700,000 indefinite agreements were signed between employers and workers, the highest figure in an accounting series dating back to 2001; and for the fourth consecutive month, the percentage of the total has not stopped growing, reaching 48.2%, boosted by the promotion of the labor reform. But the boiling of employment does not stop there: in the fourth month of the year the 20 million Social Security affiliates were exceeded for the first time in general terms, without seasonal adjustment; and unemployment fell by more than 86,000 people, standing just over three million unemployed (3,022,503), the lowest figure for this period since 2008.
It is beginning to be a verifiable reality, particularly according to the data published this Wednesday by the Ministries of Labor and Social Security, that the death rattles of the pandemic and the rise in prices have not contaminated the labor market. Month after month, the number of contracts grows, and among them especially the fixed ones. In April, a total of 1,450,093 agreements were signed, of which 698,646, 48.2% -practically one in two-, were indefinite. Adding all the contracts of these characteristics that have been signed in 2022, the total for this year is already close to two million (1,767,836), and is placed 181.55% above the total calculation that the same four months of 2021.
The figure for April is not trivial, as it shows an upward trend that began in January -already under the shelter of the new labor regulations-, and that at the beginning of the second quarter has tripled. If in January, just launched the reform, fixed contracts represented 15% of the total (they rose 5% compared to the average of 2021), in February they grew to 22% and in March they reached 31%, in the following four weeks added 17 percentage points more, giving rise to the biggest rise so far this year.
According to the Social Security tables, very short-term contracts (less than seven days) have also continued to fall in April: they have gone from accounting for 75.8% of the total number of those signed in the month of April in previous years to the pandemic, to represent much less than half, 28%. A paradigm shift that is accompanied by a greater survival of these agreements: while in previous years only 8.4% of the contracts signed since the beginning of the year were still valid in March, now the percentage has risen to 46.7 %.
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This change in the hiring culture, the primary objective of the labor framework agreed by the Government, unions and employers, has also spread throughout all sectors, although it has done so especially in construction and agriculture, two niches in which that the temporary rate has traditionally been high. In order of representativeness on the amount of contracts made, the indefinite contracts in the work rose in April to 74% of the total (when in March they were 41%); while in the field they reached 50%. In services and industry they accounted for 48% and 34%, respectively.
The squaring of the circle of employment in April is consummated thanks to the decrease in the number of unemployed, which has fallen by 86,260 people compared to the month of March. Thanks to the Easter hiring, the month that begins spring has shone more than ever in this statistic in the last 14 years, much more when compared to the records of the same month of 2021, when there were 888,125 more people without job.
Unemployment has also fallen in all sectors compared to the data for the previous month. It has done so in 65,422 people in services (-2.98%), in 9,544 in agriculture (-6.10%), in 6,972 in construction (-2.80%) and in 4,340 people in Industry (-1, 71%). Regarding the comparison by reason of sex, although there are still more women than men (1,788,385 and 1,234,118, respectively) unemployed, both groups have experienced a drop of more than 43,000 people with respect to the March data.
The perfect seasoning to round off the statistical dish for the month of April comes from the number of Social Security affiliates, which for the first time has exceeded the barrier of 20 million (20,098,119, specifically) at the end of the month, something that is not had produced in the 22 years that the historical series counts. Thanks to this spectacular increase (+184,577), the level of employment is 768,851 more workers than it was in February 2020, the last month without the influence of the pandemic.