Spain chem firms increase employment year to date despite fall in output

Author: Jonathan Lopez

2020/10/27

LONDON (ICIS)--The Spanish chemicals industry increased employment levels by 2% in January-September, year on year, despite a fall in output of 2.6% in January-August, the country’s trade group FEIQUE said on Tuesday.

The group said employment in the sector in September stood at 209,100 employees, up from 205,200 at the end of 2019.

The data was compiled by Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE) in its quarterly employment survey, published on Tuesday.

“The data reaffirms the commitment of the chemicals sector with employment, not only maintaining it but also generating new jobs,” said FEIQUE.

“Which is especially revealing considering the 2.6% drop in production that has been experienced from January to August [year on year] amid the context of economic recession due to the pandemic.”

Overall Spanish industrial output decreased during January-August by 12.8%, according to figures by INE.

Average salaries in the Spanish chemicals industry – including the pharmaceutical sector – stood at €37,440, said FEIQUE, citing INE figures; that would compare with the Spanish average salary of €23,000.

The Spanish economy’s industrial base is weak, compared with other EU peers, and is highly dependent on services and, within them, on tourism, which accounts for around 12% of GDP.

The tourism sector has this year been practically idle as the pandemic has restricted travel. Unemployment, already high in Spain, is forecast to shoot up once furlough schemes deployed by the government end in December.

On Tuesday, INE said the unemployment rate stood at 16.3%.