The temporary nature and partiality of youth employment explain that one in four children under 25 have lost their position due to the covid
The impact of the Covid-19 crisis has not been the same for everyone, far from it. Many factors have played a role, one of them the age of the workers. Thus, the hardest hit group, as in previous recessions, has been young people: one in four under 25 years old lost their job in 2020. On the contrary, those over 50 have already recovered the level of pre-pandemic employment and it has even been slightly exceeded, according to the latest monograph on the labor market published by Asempleo, the employers’ association of temporary employment agencies, which analyzes the asymmetric impact that this crisis has had based on the age of the workers.
This divergence is due to factors such as the type of contract (the temporary nature and partiality affect the younger ones more) since young people are in turn employed in the sectors most affected by the restrictions caused by the virus, while the over 50 are a minority in these activities. In the same way, the autonomous communities with older workers have shown higher levels of resilience during 2020.
Thus, although this health crisis has affected the group over 50 to a greater extent, in the workplace it is the one that has suffered the least in 2020. Moreover, in the fourth quarter of the year there were already more people over 50 working as effectively (6.35 million) than at that point in the previous year (6.33 million).
In an opposite situation are those under 25 years of age, who, despite having better resisted the impact of the virus in the health field, has been the group most affected from a labor point of view. During the last year, almost one in four young people has lost their job or been affected by ERTE in our country. In turn, around 40% of young people are currently unemployed, compared to 12.7% in those over 50 years of age. In the middle term is the group of workers between 25 and 50 years old: one in ten has lost their job or is in an ERTE while 15.5% are unemployed.
The impact of the type of contract
This asymmetry responds mainly to two factors, also interconnected: the differences in the type of contract and in the activity sector between young and old. The negative impact of economic ‘shocks’ on employment is mitigated by the security of permanent employment, and this is more frequent among older wage earners to the detriment of the young.
Thus, the incidence of temporary employment among the youngest is very high, affecting two out of every three under-25s (67.4%) in 2020, which helps to explain that one out of every four young people with a temporary contract has lost their job in 2020. In contrast, only 14.3% of those over 50 have a temporary contract and only 4.7% of them lost their job last year. On the other hand, one in four people between 25 and 50 years old has a temporary job, of which 16.6% lost their job.
The hospitality industry, another key factor
Similarly, part-time jobs tend to be less protected, being in turn the most likely to be affected by changes in the company’s workforce. In fact, 27.5% of the jobs destroyed throughout 2020 have been part-time jobs, when the part-time rate in 2019 barely reached 14.5%.
Among young people, the incidence of partiality exceeds 36%, and 22.7% of them have lost their job in 2020, and it drops to 13% in the 25-50 age group, of which 16, 7% were unemployed. On the contrary, the partiality falls to 11.6% in those over 50, and only 5.2% of these have lost their jobs this last year.
On the other hand, the different sectoral specialization based on age also helps to explain the uneven incidence of this crisis on employment. Thus, more than half of young people under 25 years of age (51.3%) were employed in hospitality, commerce and other leisure activities, which are precisely the most affected during the crisis, compared to 27.9% of the elderly of 50.
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