The Spanish senior is more entrepreneurial than his European colleagues (but works less)

It is rightly said that young people are the future of a country, but seniors better ensure that future within the labor market. In addition, in Spain, in light of its demographic pyramid, without them, the future of economic activity will be highly compromised.

However, the study of the labor market situation in Spain is not very edifying for those over 55, compared to Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Portugal.

Before showing the results of the II Senior Talent Map prepared by the Ageingnomics research center, it is important to highlight that, in the face of widespread myths, the elderly do not take jobs away from the youngest, but occupy some that they would never cover. due to lack of training or experience or due to their insufficient number.

According to this study, Spain has one of the highest senior unemployment rates in Europe. Half of its elderly unemployed are long-term and, furthermore, it is the country with the highest number of elderly female unemployment. Furthermore, together with Portugal, Spain has the highest number of low-skilled jobs.

The gap in activity rates with Sweden, the leading country in employment data for senior workers, is almost 20 points.

In Spain there are fewer seniors working than in the Nordic country, but also less than in Germany and Portugal, which means that, on average, Spaniards work almost three years less than the Portuguese, four less than the Germans and are seven years away from the Swedes.

Seniors and entrepreneurs

Despite everything, Spanish seniors are the Europeans who are most willing to start a business (by opportunity or necessity) and, with Poland at the forefront, Spain is one of the countries where self-employment is most widespread in this group.

Thus, close to a million seniors, who already account for one in three Spanish self-employed workers, see self-employment as a way to remain active.

The report focuses on how Spain could achieve, for example, the senior employment rate in Sweden (85% among workers between the ages of 55 and 59), well above the close to 65% in Spain, and thus achieve gains measured by GDP of between five and ten points.

In a country where half of the newly unemployed are seniors and one in three unemployed is over 50 years of age, it is urgent to take action on the matter.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  1. Establishment of a great country pact for the promotion of senior employment that cuts the waste of talent of the Spanish elders in the bud.

  2. Approval of an organic law against working ageism that improves the formula to reconcile pension and work, penalizes early retirement and pre-retirement and promotes an express recognition of the rights of generational equality

  3. Measurement and publication, by companies, of data on their social impact, not only in environmental and gender aspects, but also in what concerns generational diversity.

  4. Promotion, from the administrations, of self-employment and the entrepreneurship of seniors through tax rebates, public aid and reductions in self-employed quotas.

  5. Promotion, from public institutions and companies, of the continuous training of workers.

In addition, senior workers themselves must be aware that, however attractive it may seem to raise the official retirement age, it is economically unfeasible and detrimental to their physical and emotional health to stop working with more than thirty years to go.

Fostering the presence on the public scene of senior workers who continue to contribute to society with their work in fields such as science, the civil service, teaching or entrepreneurship, would help to give a new vision of this vital stage in which Paid work must continue.

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