The Bank of Spain assures that the ERTE started in the first months of the pandemic in 2020 have shown “high effectiveness in facilitating the return to employment after the confinement measures and limitations to activity in the second quarter of the year” . In an article published today, he points out that they were “an effective mechanism for adjusting the labor costs of companies that would have ended up favoring the return to employment after the progressive lifting of restrictions.” Almost 70% of ERTE employees in the second quarter returned to their job in the third.
He considers that those of the first wave were very effective in saving jobs but that the job recovery has lost steam after the summer
However, it does not collect the same impression for ERTEs started in the third quarter or for those with a longer duration. “The results are less conclusive in relation to their economic policy implications,” the authors of the text affirm. The probability of returning to employment fell to 32% of those receiving an ERTE. Therefore, they advise maintaining aid to companies in the sectors most affected by the pandemic “until the health crisis is overcome.” Protection could be linked, they add, “more directly” to the training of affected workers, which, until now, “has been relatively limited.”
The analysis published by the Bank of Spain, which is based on data from the Labor Force Survey (EPA), concludes that the return to work of employees in the first wave ERTEs is “much higher” than the reincorporations of those who lost their jobs and were not protected by this mechanism. In percentage, those who were left without work between April and June and managed to find another one a quarter later was 40%.
The temporary employment regulation files were widely used since the beginning of the pandemic. In the first quarter, there were almost 4% of wage earners in one of them, a percentage that increased to 21.9% in the second quarter. Starting in June, it fell to 5.3% in the summer months and the year ended with 4.7%. Almost 80% of the workers in ERTE in the second quarter were in the type of suspension of employment and the rest, in reduction of their working hours. The article highlights the difference in quantity with respect to the previous economic crisis, between 2009 and 2012, when ERTE workers were 0.5% of all wage earners.
The effectiveness of the ERTEs of the first wave of the pandemic was generalized in all sectors and groups of age, sex and training. The reduction observed from the third quarter was also shared by most of the groups, according to the study, although women, young people and less trained workers predominated among those who did not recover their work. Construction, hospitality and commerce were the branches of activity that recovered the least wage earners in ERTE.