When analyses are made of Spain’s current disastrous unemployment figures, much is made of the difficulties faced by young people and school leavers when searching for their first jobs, but the problem is by no means confined to this sector of the population.
Over two million of the jobless in the country, or 37.8% of the total, are over 45 years old, the largest proportion of the total ever recorded in Spain according to a study published this week. This situation is all the more drastic because employers are traditionally less keen to take on new employees who fall into this age group.
The study shows that since May 2007 more than a million over-45s have joined the dole queue, with a split of roughly 60% men and 40% women. Three quarters of them have families to maintain, most of these (80.2%) having to support their children. 10% have to support both spouse and children, 4.1% their spouse and 5.7% their parents.
What’s more, 40% of those included in this bracket represent the only source of income for the family dependants. This means that in as many as 95% of cases the unemployed person aged 45 or over is in urgent need of income.
86.5% of those who took part in the survey were made redundant involuntarily, having been released or been part of companies which applied for special employment regulation status. Only 2.7% said that they had voluntarily resigned in order to seek a better alternative.
59.2% of those responding to questions have been unemployed for over a year, nine points higher than the average among the unemployed in general. 90.6% believe that their failure to find a job is down to their age, while only 9.4% attribute their continued inactivity to the economic and financial crisis.
High unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing the government at the moment, and although measures have been implemented as part of the recent labour reform laws to try and encourage more over 45's to take the plunge and start their own businesses, as well as giving incentives to businesses to take on more mature workers, this increasingly large group of older, long-term unemployed workers are an issue increasingly demanding a solution.
All Text and Images are Subject to Copyright