30 oct 2017

Recent trends in the use of temporary contracts in Spain

Fedea, Estudios de Economía Española, eee2017-25

with José Ignacio García-Pérez, Marcel Jansen y David Troncoso

This paper documents recent trends in the use of temporary contracts in Spain. Until the outbreak of the recent economic and financial crisis, Spain was leading the ranking of countries with the largest share of temporary employees. During the crisis this share has fallen to its lowest level in decades, but in the recovery the share of temporary employees is on the rise again. Indeed, last year Spanish employers formalised more contracts than ever before. A particularly striking feature is the steep rise in fixed-duration contracts lasting less than a week. We document these trends and discuss the relevance of institutional factors for the high incidence of temporary employment in Spain. In addition, we perform various econometric exercises to assess whether the surge of short-duration contracts has led to a further deterioration in the access to permanent employment.