Shocked at the levels of unemployment

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01 May 2012 20:11 by D_B_S Star rating. 179 posts Send private message

It's been over a year since I was last in Spain, I recently returned to Barcelona to attend the funeral of a local who had been my friend since the mid 70s.

What struck me was the amount of unemployment that seems to be in the city in such a short space of time. All the talk after the funeral was about problems most of the individuals and their extended families were having keeping employment or finding work once laid off.

All the people we spoke too were either from Barca or Madrid and they all said there was an ever growing problem on unemployment and many of the younger folk were having to move back to live with parents as they were no longer able to aford the rent or mortgage.

Is this problem just in these two great cities or more wide spread in Spain. In the Wall street Journal they reported that 50% of the Eurozone unemployment was is Spain - is it really that bad.

David



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01 May 2012 20:42 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 818 posts Send private message

I read recently that unemployment is only 21% in Madrid!!!  I'd imagine Barcelona is similar or a bit lower.

On the south coast where I am based, we have unemployment at 36.37% in Cadiz province and 34.61% in Malaga province.  Truly staggering figures.

I'm usually at work during during the day but the other morning I went for a walk around our local area just before I headed off to the airport.  It was amazing to see how many people of working age there were just hanging around on the streets.  These were locals as well, not tourists.




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01 May 2012 23:51 by jaldridge Star rating in Manilva. 4827 posts Send private message

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Yes, it really is that bad!

I too am always amazed at how many people are just hanging around during the day.  They are not youngsters, just people obviously out of work.

I took the kids for churros on Monday morning and a middle aged man came in and made a very touching speech about losing his home, his kids going without, even though he's always worked since leaving school.  Everyone in there gave him money.

It's not a scene I think most people in there had experienced before.

Not everyone is stuggling but those that are do seem to be struggling very badly.

Still some incredibly tough times ahead.



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03 May 2012 15:18 by D_B_S Star rating. 179 posts Send private message

Justin,

just back from visiting old friend (he brought my home in Soller) in Mallorca before going back to Oz on a flight from LHR tomorrow, Spains unemployment seems to have hit the Island hard.

Lots of working age people 'hanging' about in Palma and many of the smaller cafes closed. It always was quiet this time of year but it's looking like the place is closed. Even some of the North Island hotels which were always full have rooms.

Where have all the visitors gone - lots of capacity for the Summer season so home a few followers of EoS book a visit to help the Island.

And I thought 8% unemployment was a big deal.

Whats being done as we hear very little about Spain in Oz as we are busy making deals with India, China and other near Asian Countries.

David



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04 May 2012 19:43 by jaldridge Star rating in Manilva. 4827 posts Send private message

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David, in answer to your question "what's being done" well, there's been a few initiatives to make hiring and firing a bit cheaper but that's just resulted in more people getting fired instead of more people getting employed 

Before Rajoy became prime minister he kept saying he had a plan to create jobs....but I'm not sure he ever had a plan, and if he did have one it was obviously rubbish!

We'll have to wait and see but this is going to be an extremely tough year for so many people in Spain.



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04 May 2012 20:10 by ads Star rating. 1669 posts Send private message

I read recently an article suggesting that many of the Spanish youth in the boom years had turned their back on education and had gone into the real estate industry, so do you think that anything could be gained by them reverting back to re-educating themselves with the government giving them some credible direction and incentives to follow careers and develop skills which the country are in dire need of (just as one example, IT careers given the need to improve administrative practices etc etc).

Do you not think that this might be the nudge to diversify Spain's skill base, instead of dependence on the real estate sector? Do you supppose something good might come from this in the longer term if the Government used this opportunity to better develop their skills and in the interim this would give them a more positive focus?

 





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10 Aug 2012 14:24 by ohnoes Star rating. 14 posts Send private message

 Jaldridge, I have to agree about Rajoy's policies. However, I disagree that he doesn't have a plan or that his plan as bad (as in it fails). Rather, I think his plan works at it's intention. To concentrate the best bits of the economy in the hands of a few neo-liberal executive friends and PP donors/puppet-masters, at the expensive of and regardless of the fates of everyone else.

The "liquidity crisis" in Spanish banks certinally doesn't seem to prevent them finding the money to reward the "Lords of the Universe" very handsomely indeed, and I'll bet my last nonexistant cent that a not so little bite of those bonuses find their way back into the right offices at the PP.

Rajoy doesn't give a toss about unemployment because it doesn't effect his people (and exactly the same is true of David Cameron, Angela Merkel and other the other right wing crazies who emerge from the woodwork at the first sign of a looting opportunity) . Neither does he really care about the soverign debt issue - rather that is simply an excuse to collaborate with his like minded compatriots at the ECB to transfer state assets to the private sector (i.e. their friends and family) in the guise of "tough but neccessary measures". 

Rajoy's cuts can never work. The more money they suck out of the economy the more hte economy will tank, and so the more cuts are needed to keep the deficit within a given % of GDP, leading to a vicious downward spiral - which is exactly what we are seeing in Greece. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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04 Oct 2012 23:12 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 394 posts Send private message

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 With the recent figures on unemployment showing an increase of almost 80,000 people, the unemployment levels are still shocking and show no signs of improving. The plan to make it easier to fire people has obviously paid it's toll. However as bad as this is it is the only way to make it easier for businesses to employ. The days have gone for "permanent contracts" and extra pay etc the workers do get complacent and less productive. Ultimately if it is expensive to fire someone it makes it difficult to employ someone or at least it makes them think twice if they can get the job done with less people by working them into the ground. So the labour reform is an absolute must, and it will take time for the country to see it's benefits as productivity is at a low so it is logical thay companies need less employees. The question is how long will it take to see the benefits. Another figure that I read the other day was just as worrying: 60% of the people who are working are earning less than a 1000 euros a month with a basic rent at 450 euros few make it to the end of the month. This data added to the unemployment rate is a time bomb waiting to explode! Rajoy certainly has his hands full at the moment and the interest rates Spain is paying on loans is not helping the issue. I read that all the extra income generated by the increase in VAT a month ago has gone entirely towards paying of part of the interest rates. The suffering and effort that everyone is going through to make ends meet only to find out that the "extra" that is coming out of our pockets every time we buy something is not going to improving the country but to some fat cat's pocket in a private bank. This does not help the country's morale.



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05 Oct 2012 08:31 by jaldridge Star rating in Manilva. 4827 posts Send private message

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Yep, outlook is still very bleak and like you say, all the extra VAT payments are just going towards paying off interests on loans.

Just can't see at what point things are going to turn around.  We're definitely talking years though, there is no quick fix.

Really tough times at the moment and I truly feel for those who are struggling.



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05 Oct 2012 15:36 by Harry07 Star rating. 209 posts Send private message

Clearly, there is a very  tough 5 years+ ahead !

One aspect (positive or not !!) is the no of young educated Spaniards taking the initiative to work abroad instead of lanquishing at home.

Harry





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